Julianna Pena may have gotten into some trouble with the law, and sure she may have made a mistake in doing so. She's a fighter who has fighting instincts, but that's no excuse for letting your emotions get the best of you outside of a bar.
Recently she did just that, however let's be clear - she was defending a friend and her assault charge was on a grown man who works at a bar.
According to new information, TUF winner Julianna Pena was arrested in Spokane, Washington following a barroom scuffle. Apparently, fellow fighter Joshua Gow had been involved in a separate fight earlier that night at a different location, and his face had been bloodied. Pena asked the bar owners to let him use the bathroom to clean up.
The owners of the bar refused, stating that they were closing soon. An argument broke out and the scenario escalated, culminating in a physical altercation. Among other things, Pena reportedly kicked two different men in the groin, and Gow rubbed his bloody face on the bar's front window.
Pena was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of assault. She was booked at the Spokane County jail, and released the next day. Gow, meanwhile, was not arrested.
Sure, she probably exercised bad judgment, and she'll deal with the consequences, but her friend and fellow fighter Michael Chiesa stands by her as a teammate and friend.
Here were his words to MMAJunkie:
“Julie’s a good person. People make mistakes. She’s 26 years old, and it doesn’t define her as a person. This one thing, people are still forgetting she’s the No. 6 bantamweight female in the world. She’s a phenomenal fighter, and people are going to screw up at one point. Sometimes, it’s unfortunate when people screw up that it makes headlines.”
Pena was the winner of 'The Ultimate Fighter 18' and currently has three straight UFC wins.
She currently faces up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Gow was heavily intoxicated during the night in question, and while this is speculation, it sounds like Pena was trying to look out for him after a previous fight had broken out and Gow had been struck.
“If I was there, it never would have happened. I would have been like, ‘Ah, we’re out of here.' She’ll become a better person for it. Peaks and valleys. You’ve got to hit your lows to hit your highs. I think she’ll be alright.”
I agree and hope she ends up okay and that all things are settled. It's a scary world, and if you aren't careful you can seriously mess up your career... and life, through fighting in the street. However, one has to acknowledge that fighters getting into fights should make all the sense in the world.
She should've exercised smarter decision making, but that's how you live and you learn. Hopefully, Chiesa will do all he can to make sure Pena knows what she shouldn't be doing and that he helps her out as a training partner and friend in that regard.