Raquel Pennington

Rocky

USA

Newest holder of UFC gold
BantamweightUFC
January 20, 2024
Pennington won the vacant UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Mayra Bueno Silva via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-45) at UFC 297 in Toronto.
ANALYSIS
Pennington won this fight. Or perhaps Bueno Silva lost it. Either way, it doesn't really matter. In the year 2024, Raquel is the newest UFC champion. It ended up a lopsided rout when all was said and done, but Pennington wasn't doing too well early on when Bueno Silva was fresh. That ended somewhere around Round 2, and Raquel cruised the rest of the way by simply leaning on the Brazilian and making her life miserable. In many ways, it was a typical Pennington fight. Now 35 years of age, Pennington has won six straight dating back to June 2020, although she's faced below-average competition during that stretch. Her first title defense will almost certainly be against Julianna Pena, and there's a much better than even chance she loses her belt in that fight, but she is a UFC champion for now, and no one will ever be able to take that away from her.
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Tabbed for title fight
BantamweightUFC
November 3, 2023
Pennington will fight Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant UFC women's bantamweight title at UFC 297 on Jan. 20 in Toronto, Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Pennington has been on a hot streak of late and has won her last five fights at the UFC level, so there's no question she will welcome this bout. Pennington is looking to start the 2024 year on a solid note.
Tabbed as 289 backup
BantamweightUFC
May 8, 2023
Pennington will no longer face Irene Aldana on May 20 after Aldana was selected to replace Juliana Pena in her bantamweight title fight against Amanda Nunes at UFC 289 on June 10 in Vancouver, per MMAFighting.com.
ANALYSIS
While Pennington did lose her main-event spot, Cole Shelton of BJPenn.com reports that she will serve as the backup fighter at 289, which means she'll likely weigh in and be ready to jump in should anything go wrong with Nunes or Aldana. Pennington did face Nunes in a title fight back in May of 2018, where she showed tremendous toughness before ultimately succumbing to the fifth-round TKO. She's been riding a hot streak of late, however, winning five consecutive matchups under the UFC banner.
Will main event UFC Vegas 73
BantamweightUFC
April 18, 2023
Pennington will take on Irene Aldana in the main event of UFC 73 on May 20, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Pennington previously captured a split decision victory over Aldana in the pair's first meeting in 2019. The winner of the rematch will likely be the next challenger for the UFC women's bantamweight championship following the the result of Amanda Nunes' and Julianna Pena's trilogy bout. Pennington is the No. 3 ranked female bantamweight in the world and has won five straight matches. Aldana is ranked No. 6 and has won four of her previous five fights.
Aldana fight in the works
BantamweightUFC
January 26, 2023
Pennington is expected to fight Irene Aldana at the UFC event on March 25, Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN Deportes reports.
ANALYSIS
Pennington is coming off a split decision win over Ketlen Vieira a couple weeks ago. Pennington's win streak now sits at five and she will have a short turnaround if she hopes to make it six.
Winning streak hits five
BantamweightUFC
January 14, 2023
Pennington defeated Ketlen Vieira via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
If you polled countless people that watched this fight, it's quite likely the majority would have scored it for Vieira. That said, this is far from the biggest robbery we have seen in recent months. Pennington deserves credit for getting back on track following a slow start. Raquel is at her best when she gets in tight and turns her bouts into close, grinding affairs. She was much more effective at that over the course of the final ten minutes. There's zero doubt Vieira's punches had more sting behind them, but Pennington did enough in the eyes of two of the three judges. The winner of five fights in a row, Pennington called for a for a shot at UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes in her post-fight interview. It sounds pretty ridiculous on the surface, but there may be no better options at the moment. Raquel would be a monumental underdog if that fight eventually does happen.