Julianna Pena suffers severe knee injury, withdraws from UFC 171

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

TUF 18 winner and former Team Tate member, Julianna Pena has been pulled from her upcoming bout at UFC 171 due to a severe knee injury.

A few rumors were swirling when sources began leaking that Julianna Pena may not be able to compete on the upcoming UFC 171 card where she was scheduled to meet Jessica Andrade. Now, a source close to Pena (who spoke under anonymitiy) has revealed that the Ultiamte Fighter Season 18 winner has suffered a sever injury in camp. Apparently the injury was to her knee although it was unspecified as to the exact nature of it or the expected treatment for it. MMA Junkie has the report.

What this does mean is that there is suddenly a vacancy, Jessica Andrade needs an opponent and at least two current UFC fighters appear to be taking up the campaign. Sarah Kaufman has made her desire for the fight very vocal, taking to Twitter with a callout, not just of Andrade, but of the Texas AC as well.

Shayna Baszler hasn't been quite as direct, but she's certainly been eager to spread around support for her filling in as well. Otherwise, I haven't seen anyone else campaigning for the slot. Bethe Correia has just been penciled in for the upcoming Natal Fight Night card. If the UFC doesn't like the look of Andrade vs. Kaufman or Baszler they may have to stretch outside their roster and bring in someone new.

UPDATEMMA Fighting has the update on the injury

Pena (5-2), the first female winner of The Ultimate Fighter, suffered the injury on Monday while grappling in training, ultimately damaging, among other aspects, her ACL, MCL, LCL and meniscus. She is expected to undergo surgery next Thursday in Los Angeles.

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