Raquel Pennington scored her second career victory in the UFC women’s bantamweight division back in December, when she snared the favored Ashlee Evans-Smith in a “bulldog choke” at UFC 181 in Las Vegas.
Evans-Smith was undefeated at the time. The win brought Pennington’s MMA record over .500 at 5-4.
Now, the 26 year old Colorado native finds herself playing the role of underdog again, facing rising star Holly Holm at this weekend’s UFC 184 event in Los Angeles.
Holm is undefeated in MMA with a 7-0 record, but is particularly noted for her earlier career in boxing, where she boasted a 33-2-1 record. The 33 year old was recognized as a champion by several sanctioning bodies, like the IBA and WBF.
But, Pennington, who will enter the cage about a six-to-one underdog, isn’t particularly concerned with Holm’s striking acumen.
In an interview with Submission Radio, Pennington went as far as to describe her “ultimate goal” as a knockout of the former boxing champion.
“Everybody’s sitting here saying she’s a phenomenal stand up fighter,” Pennington said. “So the ultimate goal would be to knock out Holly Holm. Or a nice finish the same way I finished Ashley Evans Smith.”
The bout with Holm was to be held last year but was delayed when Holm was injured. Now, it has bumped to co-main event status, with Chris Weidman’s middleweight title defense against Vitor Belfort moved to May.
“It’s exciting,” Pennington said of the turn of events. “It sucks that Chris Weidman had to take an injury. I mean that’s never fun, especially being an athlete, but with the fact that it’s going to be a night for the women that night I think it’s going to do great things for women’s MMA; and I think it’s two phenomenal match ups to bring the attention as well.”
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