Julianna Pena raised eyebrows when she recently revealed that she has been allowed to start training and while she has not yet sparring she is starting to do some drills. This is great news but very surprising as it was only in January 2014 when she suffered one of the worst injuries a fighter can receive as she tore her ACL, LCL, meniscus and hamstring in a training accident (or assault) depending on who is providing the details.
Yet she revealed recently in a MMA Roasted podcast that she is way ahead of schedule in terms of rehabilitating the injury that many MMA fight observers anticipated would take a minimum of one and more likely two years to rehabilitate and allow her to return to the Octagon.
The confident and attractive fighter during her interview was asked if she would be the one to dethrone the current women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and she answered unequivocally that she believes she can defeat the UFC champion.
She was respectful but confident in her ability to take on the champion and for many mixed martial arts observers the fact that she did not hesitate in saying she believed she could defeat the champion let them know that she is on her way back.
Often it is not just one's body but the mind that a fighter returning from injury must rebuild to believe that they still can be the best. Her statement in this interview and other recent interviews in which she has made it clear she is focused on becoming the champion have mixed martial artist observers intrigued because she is someone who could add even more 'spice' to the UFC bantamweight division which is rumoured to be getting more competition for Ronda Rousey.
Julianna Pena, the champion of 'The Ultimate Fighter 18' is back training and she has her sights set on taking on Ronda Rousey for the championship belt in 2015 which is another reason for Dana White to smile as he thinks about future fights.