Julianna Pena won't have the chance to build upon a successful stint on The Ultimate Fighter after she was forced to pull out of her UFC 171 contest against Jessica Andrade.
Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting has the details surrounding the serious knee injury suffered by Pena:
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.
According to the report, Pena has been assured that her knee will return to full strength after surgery and rehabilitation.
Pena was the first pick for Team Tate on TUF 18 and managed to win the entire show after taking out the highly regarded Shayna Baszler in her first bout and Sarah Moras in the semifinal matchup. She topped it off by stopping Jessica Rakoczy in the finale. (Watch the highlights on FoxSports.com.)
Despite Sarah Kaufman's attempts to voice her desire to step up it appears as though Raquel Pennington will get the nod. Pennington earned an unanimous decision win over Roxanne Modaferri at the TUF 18 finale.
UFC 171 is scheduled for March 15 and will be headlined by a welterweight contest between Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title. Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley is scheduled for the evening's co-main event.
Follow Kyle Symes on Twitter.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!