Coach: No 'horseplay or assault' in Pena's injury
Julianna Pena’s training partner Josh Gow clears the air on training injuryhead coach Rick Little denied those allegations today, stating the injury occurred during regular training:
Julianna is the heart and soul of our team and absolutely nothing was more devastating than carrying her to my car last week.
Years ago, the girl got hit by a drunk driver walking on the sidewalk and broke bones in her face and got up and called me. She got her arm broken in a fight and finished the round fighting back with one arm and begged me not to stop the fight on the stool. But seeing her laying on the mat last week and not getting up, I knew it was serious. She always gets up. Julianna even called Dana on the way to the hospital to say she might be out, but I sent a tweet from the hospital saying she was out even before the results because I was scared if she only had an ACL tear she was gonna still fight no matter what. like shes done before. She is the toughest person I’ve ever met.
The accident was plain and simple. It was a training accident that happened with her normal 145lb training partner for years. There wasn’t any horseplay or assault. I guarantee the guy would be in the same condition as her if there was.
The problem I have with all this is that my gym and her training partner got put on blast with no facts. Female athletes’ knees are very prone to injury. I have two professionals in my gym, Alyse Honnold and Elizabeth Phillips, both have had knee surgeries BEFORE they even joined my gym. Mike Chiesa needed knee surgery after his brutal 5 fights on TUF and Julianna’s knee blew up after her Shayna (Baszler) fight but she kept going. Most of the girls on TUF were injured or limped through and Julianna barely made it to the finale herself. Seeing Cat (Zingano) go down with a knee injury and Kelvin’s knee blow after the rigors of TUF, I feel for all of them because people don’t know the pressure there is to stay winning and keep Dana and the fans happy.
It is so difficult to keep a young, hungry, and driven athlete like Julianna from injuries. Especially having four fights in a row and right back to camp for another. She has been in camp since March 1 before TUF. No girl has had a schedule like that ever in any combat sport. Never did her training partners or workouts ever change. But anytime an injury happens in your gym its terrible and I’m 100% to blame.
My pros are hardworking blue collar guys and girls. Our team spark, centerpiece, and someone I love just went down and we are all so devastated beyond words. Looking over and not seeing Julianna on her spot on the mat that she’s always at for the last five years is something I can’t accept.
In hindsight we should’ve never taken the fight and let Julianna rest, but it feels like we aren’t a big enough gym to say no. I’ve watched (Sam) Sicilia throw punches with a broken hand, Chiesa fight three weeks after surgery, and I just can’t let this happen anymore. This sport has taken the life out of me.
“Julianna text me and asked me if I was at the gym and I told her ‘yeah.’ Then she came in, got ready to go and I asked her if she was ready — we just started rolling and it was our first round. We were about two minutes in to it, it was just submission wrestling, grappling, rolling or whatever you want to call it and I took back position off the wall — as we were falling away from the wall, with my hooks in she was supporting my weight as I was going for a RNC, her knee twisted in a weird way and we are where we are at today. It was all really terrible.”
When the word ‘attacked’ was used, many thought this guy at the gym was a bully or a big male fighter. However, Pena and Gow both fight at the same 135-pound weight class. Pena, or “Jules” as her teammates call her had trained with Gow on a very regular basis and there was nothing different about this session than any other.
“Not at all, I train with Jules on a very regular basis. We were just going in there, it was a submission grappling bout and there was nothing different. It was slow paced, it was the first round and it was a freak accident, that’s all it was. There’s really nobody that can explain it, it was just a freak accident at the gym.”
The Sik-Jitsu name got dragged under the bus by White and he even said that she should ‘leave the gym now.’ Gow defends his team and still feels they have ‘a very good gym.’
“I don’t think Sikjitsu should have gotten drug under the radar. We have a very good gym — we’re very together as a gym, we may have an odd way of doing stuff, but we’ve produced three UFC fighters. We’re obviously doing something right.”
At 3-0 as a professional MMA fighter and looking to fight much more, Gow worries that his name will misconstrued. As a young professional fighter his overall goal is to obviously get in to the UFC and he hopes this doesn’t affect that.
“That’s what I’d like to clear up or had already cleared up. I want my name to be pronounced in a good way and not be remembered as somebody that hurt my training partner or that was in an accident with my training partner. It’s gotten blown out of proportion and I really think it’s pretty horrible of the media to have set somebody out as an attacker and not to get all the facts before coming out with all this stuff.”
This isn’t the first time a training accident has happened in a gym and it definitely won’t be the last. Gow feels extremely horrible about what happened to Pena and wants everyone to know that.
“I hope Julianna’s injury gets cleared up fast and she’s back at it as soon as she can.”
Last edited by Cat--Smasher; 02-08-2014 at 05:26 AM.
I doubt Dana responds or even acknowledges how he shit on their gym with a false story.
Interesting..."I don't think I accidentally explained it incorrectly to [Dana White] - I think I explained it 110 percent exactly how the story went," Pena began.
"What happened was, I wasn't even wearing an Ultimate Fighter shirt...the kid told me he thought it was an Ultimate Fighter rash guard. But, here's the thing, it's a gray rash guard, okay? It had a little UFC emblem on it. I was wearing that, I was late. So, when I got there, he was like ‘hurry up, let's go.' So, I get on the mat, I hit the clock, and he says, ‘Oh, you're wearing your Ultimate Fighter rash guard. I was like, what's that supposed to mean? ‘That you're really tough, I'm really scared.' I'm like, whatever, and we slapped hands, and a minute later, my knee was tore out.
"Normally, in the gym, when there's tons of people we start on our knees, you know there's not enough room. But, in this instance, it was just me and him on the mat. No one was there, and we slapped hands, and we started going, but right when we started going, it was like ‘Urghh!' fighting for your life, just cock strong, you know, both of us, and I was like, ‘you're not taking me down, bro.' And he wasn't, so, he was trying to take me down as much as he could. So, I had my shoulder blades up against the back wall, and he's trying to rear-naked choke me from the side of my body. It's not even close, and it pissed me off, and I'm like, be technical. Don't try to cock strong, you know? I was turning into him, and he was trying to drag me to the ground and rear-naked choke me at the same time, just trying to use all of his weight to try to drop me to the ground. So, when I turned into it, it was just the amount of force - it just blew."
ya.. how do you have THAT severe of injury from just defending a standing regular RNC?? I don't think ive ever heard of such an injury??
due to the severity I kind of tend to believe Pena in this instance... especially since I don't doubt that a guy is butt hurt that a female is doing better then him.. is that hard to believe?? his gym may not have know that's what he was really thinking/covering its ass but its really not that far out there for me... I didn't really care for Julianna (since I am a Ronda fanboy) but I appreciated what she did in the octagon and this is REEEEEAALLLY sad... I barely tore my meniscus and that really sucked not to mention the fucking rest she did to her leg is no joke.. so based on her account id sooner believe her then the ego of some rando in a gym that has been accused (albeit by Dana) for being unsportsmanlike (in the least) towards women
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