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UFC 184: 'Underdog' Raquel Pennington ready to flip the script, knockout Holly Holm

But is trading punches with a former pro boxing champion the best strategy?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Raquel Pennington may be the underdog against undefeated striking sensation Holly Holm, but that doesn't mean she's short on confidence heading into this weekend's (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) women's bantamweight showdown at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, California.

In fact, "Rocky" wants to give "The Preacher's Daughter" a taste of her own medicine by outclassing her on the feet and ultimately knocking her out. But as she told Submission Radio, she's also willing to settle for any other type of impressive finish.

Her prediction:

"Everybody's sitting here saying she's a phenomenal stand-up fighter, so the ultimate goal would be to knock out Holly Holm. Or a nice finish, the same way I finished Ashley Evans-Smith."

It's going to be pretty tough to top this nice bulldog choke Pennington executed on the aforementioned Smith back at UFC 181.

As far as Raquel is concerned, Holm may be unbeaten, but she has yet to be tested by a UFC-caliber fighter. And she isn't about to let the former pro boxer waltz into the Octagon and claim it as her own.

"It's completely exciting. I feel like all the hard work is finally paid off and I mean this is a fight that I definitely asked for. A lot of people, I mean they give Holly a ton of credit. She's riding a huge hype train, and I feel like she's just kind of coming into my home and she hasn't truly been tested with another elite athlete and female that's been in the UFC. I feel like she's kind of looking past everybody and just trying to jump to that title shot."

For Raquel, being the underdog isn't anything new and it's something she embraces. That's because it takes all the pressure off her and adds a bit more to Holm, who is expected to be the one to truly test division champion Ronda Rousey.

"I've always been an underdog my whole entire career, so I mean it's easy for me. It kind of takes the pressure off of me. I don't have anything to live up to. I mean Holly is the one coming into the UFC for one, and she's carrying all the pressure. I have nothing to lose and she has everything to lose. I just recently fought so I think the cage jitters and stuff like that are out the window. So overall in MMA I have a lot more experience than she does. If you sit here and you kind of look at our records and stuff, my record may be five and five or whatever, and her record is undefeated, but there's a ton of girls that I fought with undefeated records that I have under my belt. I mean six of nine girls are all in the UFC, so I think with that and coming off of being from Colorado; I mean high altitude training. I feel I just have a ton of advantages. I mean I know she's gonna be strong, it's going to be a fight, but I feel like I'll be the superior fighter that night."

While a win for Holm will likely earn her a shot at the winner of Rousey vs. Cat Zingano for the division strap, a victory for Pennington might not guarantee her the same.

Then again, if she can back up her words and provide a highlight-reel knockout, it could do wonders for her own championship fight aspirations. Or at the very least, put her in line for a title eliminator bout.

For much more on UFC 184 click here.

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