Having not fought since a decision win over Miesha Tate back at UFC 205, Raquel Pennington has a lot of catching up to do.
Luckily for “Rocky,” who has won her last four Octagon appearances, she will have a huge opportunity to remind fight fans of her divisional worth later tonight (Sat., May 12, 2018) at UFC 224 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when she battles current 135-pound champion Amanda Nunes.
Outside of her high-profile matchup with Tate in New York City, this is undoubtedly the biggest fight of Pennington’s career. That goes for her stint on The Ultimate Fighter and the six times she has fought on a PPV card.
But what should we really expect from Pennington?
It’s difficult to say.
After suffering a leg injury during a car accident back in October her initial title fight with Nunes was scrapped. While Pennington can find some vindication tonight in Brazil, it will be her first fight in exactly 18 months. That’s a very long time for any fighter to sit out, especially one gearing up to fight a champion coming off victories over Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey, and Tate.
Still, Pennington will have the opportunity to shock the bantamweight division, utilize her grinding fighting style, and showcase a new and improved self tonight at UFC 224. The 29-year-old Colorado native isn’t the type of fighter that’s going to knockout Nunes in front a hostile Brazilian crowd, but she has the potential to sap the champ’s energy, fight hard into the final few frames, and steal a decision or lock up a late submission.
That’s really all we can ask for from a fighter who hasn’t competed since late 2016. Pennington’s track record speaks volumes, especially with a 6-2 divisional clip since her UFC inception back in 2013, but she will have to reestablish herself this evening against one of the baddest women on the planet.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 224 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.