Friday, January 28, 2022

Pennington Believes Fight Against Julianna Peña Is Years In The Making

Raquel Pennington thinks her recent momentum in the UFC will ultimately lead her to a title fight.

The rising bantamweight contender mentioned Saturday that she thinks her recent campaign will continue with a successful 2022 that could include a title shot. This statement comes after her recent victory over Macy Chiasson at UFC Vegas 45.

“I feel like this is my time. This year coming up is my year. I was born to be a world champion. This isn’t an easy sport and I’m truly talented in it,” said Pennington during her post-fight media scrum. “And it’s just about making shifts lately. And here I am. And I’m not injured.”

Pennington Targets Bantamweight Champ Peña

Raquel Pennington
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Pennington wants to fight UFC Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña next. Peña earned her belt just last week, scoring an upset win over Amanda Nunes.

Pennington did take a brief trip up to featherweight for this week’s fight, but that was only due to the short-notice nature of the booking. Pennington has expressed interest in fight at both 135 and 145-pounds, but she still has her sights set on bantamweight first and foremost.

When discussing a potential fight against Peña, Pennington brought up the history between them, reflecting on how they both fought on the same season of The Ultimate Fighter.

“I remember years ago Dana [White] always thought that me and Julianna [Peña] would be the ones to meet up in the finale for The Ultimate Fighter. My fight with Jessamyn Duke, I took a lot of injuries in there and we won Fight of the Season. It was a great fight, but in that short period of time, I had no time to heal. I went into my semi-finals fight with a broken hand. My journey has been different. But hey, maybe we’ll align for a world title now.”

We don’t know currently what’s next for the new champ Peña. The champ recently cited her interest in facing Germaine de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko, or possibly facing Nunes in a rematch.

Do you think we’ll see Raquel Pennington challenge for a title in 2022?

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Jack Wannan
Jack Wannan is a reporter and writer based out of Toronto, Ontario. He has reported on a variety of topics, including MMA, business, music, and motorsport.