Former UFC lightweight Luis Pena, whose recent headlines have been due to out-of-the-cage legal issues, has a return booked.

Pena (9-3) is scheduled to be part of ACA MMA’s upcoming lightweight tournament, the promotion announced Monday in an Instagram video. The promotion announced Pena as the sixth of eight fighters in the grand prix.

Pena posted the news, as well, and said his first fight with ACA MMA will be April 16 in Minsk in Belarus. Pena previously had announced he would be fighting in Russia.

It remains to be seen if the April 16 timing will be problematic for Pena. He has a court date currently scheduled for April 8. According to court documents, his hearing will take place via Zoom and will be, in part, a determination of counsel hearing.

Pena was released by the UFC after his arrest on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and simple battery this past October.

That incident came on the heels of a June 2021 arrest in Coral Springs, Fla., on felony charges alleging robbery by sudden snatching, battery and criminal mischief and was held in custody at the Broward County (Fla.) Detention Center.

The alleged Oct. 10 incident according to the Broward County Sheriff’s office: “At approximately 12:34 a.m., Broward Sheriff’s Office Deerfield Beach deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call near the 200 block of Southeast 12th Avenue in Deerfield Beach. On scene, deputies made contact with multiple subjects, and Luis Antonio Pena was later detained and taken into custody. Pena was transported to BSO Main Jail and faces one count of simple battery and one count of domestic violence battery (both misdemeanor). The investigation continues.”

Peña hasn’t fought since an April 2021 split decision win over Alexander Munoz at UFC on ESPN 22. “The Ultimate Fighter 27” product went 5-3 in eight UFC appearances.


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