Raquel Pennington eyes Julianna Peña grudge clash after UFC 297 title victory: ‘That’s the fight that makes sense’

Raquel Pennington eyes title fight with Julianna Peña after UFC 297 that makes the most sense

Newly-crowned undisputed bantamweight titleholder, Raquel Pennington is already making plans for her first attempted defense of 135 pound following her crowning at UFC 297 overnight, welcoming a long-standing grudge match with ex-gold holder, Julianna Peña first and foremost.

Pennington, a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter, co-headlined UFC 297 overnight against surging Brazilian submission artist, Mayra Bueno Silva – snapping the latter’s four-fight unbeaten run with a one-sided unanimous decision shutout win in the pair’s vacant title battle.

Raquel Pennington eyes Julianna Peña title defense

Crowning herself as the new queen of the bantamweights at the second time of trying following a prior fifth round TKO loss to former two-weight champion and common-foe, Amanda Nunes, Pennington welcomed the idea of a fight with Peña in the future – who herself as been vocal in the days ahead of UFC 297.

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“That’s the fight that makes sense,” Raquel Pennington said of a bout with Julianna Peña whilst speaking with assembled media after UFC 297. “ I honestly thought that for the world title it was going to be me and Julianna, but she’s still injured.”

“That relationship just goes back to 2013 when we were both back in The Ultimate Fighter,” Raquel Pennington explained. “Let’s just say, I learned Julianna’s personality then, and it’s kind of one of those where you stay your way, and I’ll stay mine, but you get under my damn skin, I’ve been waiting for that fight for 13 years – whether the title is on the line or not.” 

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Ahead of UFC 297 in Toronto, former champion, Peña, the first female Ultimate Fighter victor in the history of the promotion, boldly claimed that both Pennington and the above-mentioned, Bueno Silva were merely fighting for an interim title, before meeting her for the undisputed crown. 

Who wins in a future championship clash: Raquel Pennington or Julianna Peña?