Amanda Nunes to Face Raquel Pennington at UFC 224

Raquel Pennington UFC
Raquel Pennington Credit: Dave Mandel/

Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington looks set for UFC 224 in May.

It looks as if Raquel Pennington will finally be getting back in the octagon this May. For the UFC women’s bantamweight title no less. Both MMA Junkie and Brazil’s Combate reported the news, later confirmed by MMA Fighting. Pennington will be the next challenger to face 135lb Queen Amanda Nunes, who has defeated both Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko since winning the belt at UFC 200.

Previously, Nunes (15-4) had been linked to a champion vs. champion fight with Cris Cyborg. However, despite UFC President Dana White’s preference for that bout, the UFC was forced to go in another direction. That came as a result of Cyborg stepping up to save the UFC 222 card early next month. Cyborg’s booking left Nunes without a dance partner. Enter the returning Pennington (9–5).

‘Rocky’ defeated former champion Meisha Tate at UFC 205 to score her fourth consecutive win in the UFC. Sadly, Pennington has not fought since that night, all the way back in November 2016. She had agreed to face Nunes at UFC 219 last December, but a broken leg stemming from an ATV accident forced her out of the planned title challenge.

Having now healed, it looks like the title fight is back on. UFC 224 takes place in Rio de Janeiro at the Jeunesse Arena on May 12.