Back in December, WMMA fighter and Ultimate Fighter winner Julianna Pena was arrested after getting into a bar-related fight in Spokane, Washington.
Luckily, it appears that this incident won't interfere much with her martial arts career, and she's planning a quick return to the Octagon, according to a decision from a law firm that works closely with the UFC.
In a statement released Monday, the UFC said its law firm, Campbell & Williams, has looked into Pena's December arrest on two counts of assault. During the investigation, the UFC decided not to post-pone booking Pena in any fights.
After their investigation finished though, the UFC has decided not to suspend Pena, and will in fact announce her next fight shortly.
However, Pena will need to participate in psychological counseling as a "condition for her return."
In terms of her legal case, MMA Fighting has reported that Pena was granted a stipulation order of continuance in her assault case by a judge in the Spokane Municipal Court. In one year, if Pena has no other incidents, the misdemeanor charges will be dismissed.
Julie Pena's attorney weighed in:
"The circumstances that led Julianna into the bar were that she was seeking medical attention for her friend. When it was denied, she reacted. Pretty simple. And things got out of control. I think there was some bad judgment all around."
The UFC's full statement is below:
UFC announced today that an investigation into allegations of assault by UFC competitor Julianna Pena is now complete. Pena recently came to a resolution with the Prosecutor's Office in Spokane County, Washington. The resolution was thoroughly reviewed by Campbell & Williams, a Las Vegas-based law firm hired by UFC to oversee its investigation into the matter.
UFC elected not to schedule Pena for a bout while the legal proceedings were ongoing. Now that the matter has been resolved, Pena is eligible to return to competition in the UFC and will be scheduled for a bout in the near future.
While UFC is supportive of the resolution of Pena's criminal matter, Pena acknowledges that her actions as a professional athlete should reflect well of her, the sport of mixed martial arts, and the UFC. Consequently, Pena has volunteered to participate in counseling as a condition for her return to the Octagon.
At just 26 years old, it certainly isn't a stretch to say that she is still young enough to make these types of mistakes and bounce back from them. Especially given her history of discipline inside and out of the Octagon, she will hopefully learn how to deal with her anger in a better manner through counseling, and return to MMA even stronger.
What do you think?