Raquel Pennington eyes clash with Julianna Peña after title triumph over Mayra Bueno Silva at UFC 2975 months ago
Newly crowned bantamweight champion Raquel Pennington targets Julianna Peña for her first title defense after a decisive victory at UFC 297 against Mayra Bueno Silva.

By Safeer MS

The vacant women’s bantamweight title at UFC 297 was won by Raquel Pennington with a unanimous decision victory over Mayra Bueno Silva. Despite the co-main event fight not being highly entertaining, Pennington became the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion. This was her second attempt. The first round was won by Bueno Silva but from the second round onwards, Pennington gradually took over as her experience proved to be the decisive factor. Consequently, Pennington’s win streak in the division was extended to six.

Originally, Pennington was scheduled to face former champion Julianna Peña for the vacant title. Due to an injury, Peña withdrew and Bueno Silva was her replacement. Although Pennington and Bueno Silva were the scheduled fighters, the trash talks mainly occurred between Peña and Bueno Silva. Both threw shades at Pennington, labeling her as an uninteresting fighter. Despite this, Pennington remained calm and let her fighting skills speak for themselves.

Pennington’s first championship attempt was against Amanda Nunes at UFC 224. Nunes, the arguable GOAT of women’s MMA, outclassed Pennington and won via TKO in the fifth round. Pennington had admitted her reluctance to continue in the fight to her corner between rounds. At UFC 297, Nunes was present cage-side with her wife and daughters. She embraced Tecia Torres, Pennington’s wife, after the victory.

Now, Pennington has set her sights on fighting Julianna Peña for her first title defense. Dana White, the UFC CEO, also shared this sentiment. Both Pennington and Peña were competitors in Ultimate Fighter Season 18. This season marked the introduction of women’s divisions in the UFC. Peña emerged victorious in the Ultimate Fighter whilst Pennington lost in the semi-finals. „The Venezuelan Vixen“, Peña, defeated Nunes at UFC 269 to become the champion. However, she lost the title at UFC 277 in the rematch.