UFC fighter and TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena is reportedly injured, per a rep from her training camp, and she will be forced out of her scheduled bout with Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 set for March 15 in Dallas, Texas. No word on what the injury is, though rumours have it being knee related. Furthermore, she is expected to meet with UFC doctors to see if surgery is the next step for her.
Pena won the TUF 18 competition in impressive fashion, defeating tournament favourite Shayna Baszler as well as Sarah Moras, before decimating Jessica Rakoczy in the finale. Pena was the first pick of training partner Miesha Tate, and impressed during her time in the house. Unfortunately, she has had to pull out of her highly awaited bout with Jessica Andrade, who is coming off a victory over Rosi Sexton.
A search for a replacement for the fight is under way and Sarah Kaufman has used social media to try to take the fight. Kaufman is a true women’s MMA pioneer and she deserves every opportunity to get her UFC career on track. Kaufman is hoping to bounce back from her decision loss at the hands of Jessica Eye, a fight in which many excited the Canadian to get the nod. After a late flurry, the judges’ verdict went the way of Eye and she is now hoping to bounce back as soon as possible.
With Kaufman having a large Canadian following, it would be no surprise for the UFC to slot her into the bout with Andrade, and her 33-thousand strong Twitter following certainly helps her cause. You can see her tweets below.
— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) January 29, 2014
— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) January 30, 2014
UPDATE: It has been reported that Pena’s fellow TUF 18 competitor Raquel “Rocky” Pennington will step in for the fight with Jessica Andrade. UFC are yet to confirm the news.