Las Vegas, NV — Raquel Pennington enters UFC Vegas 67 as a mother-to-be, as wife (and fellow UFC fighter) Tecia Torres is currently pregnant with the couple’s first child.
That’s a whole different level of motivation, she explained during Wednesday’s media day promoting the event.
“I still can’t wrap my head around it, I can’t explain things, but you want to talk about a different level of motivation, excitement— it’s so much different emotions,” Pennington (14-8) told media outlets including Cageside Press.
Impending motherhood has Pennington feeling “a very different calm this week, just with everything. Like I said the motivation is very different, it’s exciting. I just feel, I’m already passionate about what I do, but everything is heightened. All my emotions are heightened. Not to mention, I’m not a very emotional person, but somehow this situation has turned me into a big baby. I keep crying with everything.”
The match-up this Saturday with Ketlen Vieira, ranked second in the women’s 135lb division, is one that Pennington was expecting.
“I expected this fight. I would be surprised if it wasn’t this one. I’m just excited,” Pennington, winner of her last four fights, stated. “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.”
Ranked #5 in the women’s bantamweight division, Pennington does not plan on taking too much time off with a win. At least not if a title fight is in the offing, given it has been nearly five years since her first fight with champ Amanda Nunes.
“Heck no. I’m on a roll. You can’t deny me. Five fight win streak after Saturday — I’m right there. Give me my world title shot back.” While she’s not sure what Nunes is up to these days, Pennington would find it ideal to fight again in Spring. “I would honestly love to fight in May, and have that opportunity, and then the baby is born in June. And then focus on being a mom for a little bit.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 67 media day appearance by Raquel Pennington above.