Michael Chiesa on Julianna Pena injury situation: 'This whole thing is tearing our team apart'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A day after UFC president said Julianna Pena was "basically attacked" at her gym, which lead to a gruesome knee injury, UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa, her teammate at Sik-Jitsu Fighting Systems in Spokane, Wash., sent MMAFighting.com a statement to say this situation is "tearing our team apart."

Below is the statement in its entirety:

Pena was never "attacked" by some guy. She was training with a 135er that she trains with on a regular basis. He wasn't talking shit to her for wearing a TUF shirt, and if he was, it was light-hearted gym humor. They were rolling and he went for a move that he's hit on her a thousand times before and it just happened. Nobody is to blame, it was a training accident. Just like Dominick Cruz. Everyone knows how hard she is to train with cause she's so damn tough. She only has one female partner that can somewhat challenge her. Even on the show, she was training with guys on her team and, correct me if I'm wrong, they made a point to say how tough she is. She's Cyborg-esque, I guess you could say, minus the PEDs.

Were a very close knit team here in Spokane, she was training with someone that she's gone all the way to Canada to corner. She's held this guy's child, they are very close. This guy wasn't some attacker or whatever the hell she said. This whole thing is tearing our team apart.

Chiesa, who has trained with Pena since 2008, added that less than an hour prior to the accident, she was in the gym doing cardio and leg day, "going hard as usual, so I think that has a big role in how it happened." He declined to say who she was training with.

Here is the official list of injuries Pena suffered on Monday at the gym, courtesy of her coach Rick Little:

* Full-thickness tear tear of the anterior cruciate ligament at the femoral origin.

* High-grade partial versus full thickness lateral colateral ligament tear.

* Avulsion of the tibial insertion of the medial colateral ligament with proximal ligament retraction.

* Rupture of the biceps femoris tendon.

* Tear of the posterior horn medial meniscus.

* Moderate sized knee joint effusion.

Pena is expected to have surgery on her injured knee next week. No timetable has been set yet for her return.

Here's what our own Ariel Helwani, Luke Thomas, Chuck Mindenhall and Jeff Wagenheim of Sports Illustrated had to say about this situation on the MMA Beat:

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