With a win over Ketlen Vieira at UFC Vegas 67, Raquel Pennington wants to secure a second championship opportunity.
Pennington fell short against reigning UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 224 nearly four years ago. Since then, ‘Rocky’ has fought her way into contention again, and earned what she sees as a potential No. 1 contender against Vieira.
“I expected this fight, honestly,” said Pennington at media day (video provided by MMA Junkie). “I would be surprised if it wasn’t this one. I’m just excited. Great opponent, great opportunity, and that’s exactly what I’m seeing this as. She’s just another stepping stone in my way back to that world title shot.”
The ‘Lioness’ has yet to receive an opponent for her next defense following a unanimous decision win over Julianna Peña at UFC 277 this past July. If Nunes is ready to go soon, then Pennington suggests a fight in May.
“I’m on a roll,” said Pennington. “You can’t deny me. Five fight-win streak after Saturday, I’m right there. Give me my world title shot back. They’re gonna do what they do. I don’t know what Amanda is doing at this point and everything else, but I would actually love to fight Saturday, come out of the fight healthy and then take a couple of weeks off, enjoy myself, breath a little bit.
“And then I would honestly love to fight in May and have that opportunity,” continued Pennington. “And then the baby is born in June, and then focus on being a mom for a little bit.”
Pennington is on a four-fight win streak, having added Pannie Kianzad, Macy Chiasson and Aspen Ladd to her resume recently.
UFC Vegas 67 goes down on Saturday, January 14, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.