Raquel Pennington claims vacant women’s bantamweight title in five-round war with Mayra Bueno Silva, shares kiss with wife post-win


Raquel Pennington has finally redeemed her women’s bantamweight title hunt with a unanimous decision win against Mayra Bueno Silva at UFC 297.

This triumph marks a remarkable comeback for Pennington, who faced Amanda Nunes in a brutal title shot in 2018, only to fall short via fifth-round TKO. Undeterred, she embarked on a six-fight winning streak, proving her dedication and resilience.

Following the win, Pennington acknowledged:

“It’s been a long five years. I had to climb mountains to get back here..I expected to come out here and do a lot more, feel a lot different, but a fight’s a fight. Mayra was tough…It got to the point where it wasn’t pretty and they said ‘I don’t even care if you get booed out here. Work your butt off and get this done,’ and that’s exactly what I did, It’s not as easy as everyone might think.”[1:13 ]

With the belt now firmly around her waist, Pennington’s eyes are already set on the future. The most likely contender is Julianna Peña, who briefly held the title before losing it back to Nunes. Peña, present at the event, missed out on a potential trilogy with Nunes due to her retirement.

‘Rocky’ wasted no time in issuing a challenge:

“Julianna, get your a*s better and sign on the dotted line. It’s been 10 years that I’ve been waiting for that fight.”[3:11]

Check out Raquel Pennington’s post-fight octagon interview below:


When Raquel Pennington was suspended by USADA due to an unintentional violation

Raquel Pennington‘s UFC journey took an unexpected turn in 2020 when she received a six-month suspension from USADA. However, unlike many doping cases, Pennington’s situation was unique and stemmed from an honest mistake.

Unbeknownst to Pennington, her doctor prescribed two banned substances, prohormone 7-keto-DHEA, and peptide AOD-9064, to treat a non-fighting related medical condition.

Upon learning of the substances’ banned status, the 35-year-old proactively reported the error to USADA. This transparency earned Pennington a lenient six-month suspension compared to the potential two-year ban for unknowingly using banned substances. The suspension ran from November 17, 2020, to May 7, 2021, sidelining Pennington for half a year.

Following her suspension, ‘Rocky’ wasted no time returning to the octagon. In September 2021, she secured a unanimous decision victory over Pannie Kianzad.

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