After a prolonged, and public, saga with USADA Jessica Penne has been cleared to compete and is booked to fight at UFC 260. According to MMA Fighting the former UFC strawweight title contender will face Hannah Goldy.
Penne (12-5) last competed inside the Octagon all the way back in 2017. After that fight Penne was given an 18-month suspension from USADA for a failed drug test. After serving that suspension Penne was due to face Jodie Esquibel in 2019, but she was forced to withdraw from that bout with an injury she suffered on the day of the fight.
Shortly after the cancelled bout with Esquibel it was announced that Penne had failed a second USADA test due to trace amounts of the steroid Stanozolol. In response to this USADA hit Penne with a four-year ban. At this point it seemed as though Penne’s career in pro MMA was over.
Penne took to social media to express her dismay at the situation. She said she failed her test because of an over the counter medication and that USADA had “effectively bullied and forced” her into retiring from MMA. In her post Penne also detailed the out of pocket expenses she had incurred testing her medications and supplements in attempts to clear her name. These expenses eventually lead to Penne starting a gofundme campaign.
USADA later relented on the four-year ban. They downgraded the suspension to 20 months due to ‘the totality of circumstances, including the complexity of issues, as well as Penne’s participation in discussions with USADA following her initial public comments.’
That suspension was backdated to April 8, 2019. With that suspension running out, she will be cleared to compete at UFC 260 on March 27th.
Prior to her suspension the now 38-year-old was on a three fight losing skid. That run started with a TKO loss to then UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2015. After that she lost by TKO to future champion Jessica Andrade. Her last fight was a loss to Danielle Taylor, by unanimous decision.
Penne joined the UFC from Invicta FC, where she held the atomweight title, via The Ultimate Fighter 20. Her pro UFC debut was on that show’s finale, where she beat Randa Markos by split decision.
Goldy is 5-1 in her young career. The 28-year-old is a graduate from the Contender Series where she beat Kali Robbins. She lost her full UFC debut to Miranda Granger at UFC on ESPN 5 in 2019.