Exclusive | Tabatha Ricci predicts a finish over Jessica Penne: “It will be a finish with a knockout or submission”

Tabatha Ricci, Jessica Penne, Mackenzie Dern
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC strawweight Tabatha Ricci will take on MMA veteran Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night on Oct.1. The Brazilian native spoke with Lowkick MMA’s James Lynch about the matchup, fight prediction and being on the same card as Mackenzie Dern.

Ricci’s clash with Penne will be her fourth UFC fight. Since making her debut last June, she has gone 2-1, with wins over Polyana Viana and Maria Oliveira. 

‘Baby Shark’ was originally scheduled to face Cheyanne Vlismas on Oct.1 but the fight got scrapped due to personal reasons in Vlismas’ side. Penne would then step up and accept the fight on short notice. 

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However, just because Penne is accepting this fight with limited time to prepare, she is still not a fighter to take lightly. An extremely experienced mixed martial artist, Penne has fought for Bellator, Invicta, and the UFC over the course of her 16 year career. The No.15 strawweight was also a part of the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where she made it to the semi-final round. Her past opponents include Jessica Andrade, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, and Michelle Waterson. 

Tabatha Ricci is Ready to Test Her Skills Against a Veteran of The Sport

With a win over the No. 15 strawweight, Ricci could well see her name in the rankings.

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“I really respect Jessica Penne because she was one of the first strawweights,” Ricci said. “She has a lot of experience so I’m very excited for the fight and very thankful for her to accept the fight since ‘The Warrior Princess’ (Vlismas) pulled out. I can’t wait for it.”

The 27-year-old will be on the same card as teammate Mackenzie Dern. Ricci and Dern have trained and sparred together for their upcoming bouts. It’s beneficial for both women and their preparations as they have similar builds and compete in the same division. 

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“Wow, I’m super excited that we are sharing the same card. It’s been an awesome camp,” Ricci said. “I feel like we’re both ready to go so I’m super super excited for the fight day.”

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has three finishes in her 8-fight career. She’s confident that the fight will not go the distance. Ricci predicts a finish that will get her to three straight wins. 

“I’m ready for everything. It will be a finish with a knockout or a submission so I don’t think it can go three rounds.”

How do you think Tabatha Ricci vs. Jessica Penne will play out?

Marc Ray has lived his entire life in Houston, Texas, where he was born, raised and attended the University of Houston, studying broadcast journalism. As you may imagine, he spends much of his time watching mixed martial arts as part of his daily routine — not only to pump himself up, but also because he deeply enjoys the sport. Ray has worked for Houston Public Media, where he interned in the newsroom and produced community stories. Ray also created sports features in Houston for El Gato Media Network and occasionally produced content for an internship at AARP.