Raquel Len Pennington (born September 5, 1988) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in Ultimate Fighting Championship women's bantamweight division. She has previously fought for Invicta Fighting Championships.
Pennington grew up playing many sports from basketball, softball, volleyball, running cross country, to always wanting to box. She graduated from Harrison High School (Colorado Springs) in 2007 as secretary of the National Honors Society, with many athletic and academic scholarships. She never played sports on a collegiate level due to a broken back. Pennington took an academic Scholarship to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs for pre-med in hopes to continue her education at med school and eventually become a doctor.
Mixed martial arts career
Pennington started training in martial arts at the age of 19, though initially her parents would not let her fight. She fought in amateur MMA from 2009 to 2011, amassing a record of 7 wins and 1 loss with five of those wins by submission. Her professional debut was in March 2012, a TKO victory against Kim Couture.
Invicta Fighting Championships
Pennington made her Invicta Fighting Championships promotional debut against future The Ultimate Fighter team mate Sarah Moras on July 28, 2012 at Invicta FC 2. She won via unanimous decision.
Her next two fights for the promotion were both losses; one to Cat Zingano at Invicta FC 3 and one to Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 4.
The Ultimate Fighter
In August 2013, Pennington was announced as a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. She defeated veteran Tonya Evinger via submission due to a guillotine choke in the first round and was the third female pick of Team Tate.
Raquel Pennington faced Jessamyn Duke in the elimination round. Pennington defeated Duke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) and the performance earned both participants Fight of The Season honors.
Advancing to the semi-final, Pennington next faced former boxing champion Jessica Rakoczy in the final episode of the series. Prior to the fight, Pennington damaged her hand but was still able to fight. She lost a unanimous decision to Rakoczy (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Pennington made her promotional debut against TUF 18 team mate Roxanne Modafferi on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. She won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
For her second fight with the promotion, Pennington replaced an injured Julianna Peña against Jéssica Andrade on March 15, 2014 at UFC 171. She lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.
Pennington was scheduled to face Holly Holm at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014. However, Holm pulled out of the fight in mid-November, citing a neck injury. Holm was replaced by UFC newcomer Ashlee Evans-Smith.Pennington won the fight via technical submission due to a bulldog choke at the end of the first round. She became the 4th fighter in UFC history to finish a fight with that move.
Pennington fought Holly Holm at UFC 184 on February 28, 2015, a bout that was originally supposed to take place at UFC 181. She lost the fight via split decision.
Pennington was set to take on Liz Carmouche at UFC 191. Carmouche was then replaced by former opponent Jéssica Andrade.Pennington won the fight by submission in the second round.
Pennington faced former UFC Bantamweight Champion and former TUF Coach Miesha Tate at UFC 205 on November 12th, 2016. She won the fight by unanimous decision, outstriking and outwrestling Tate for all three rounds.
UFC Bantamweight Championship challenge
After being away from fighting for about a year and a half, Pennington faced Amanda Nunes on May 12, 2018 at UFC 224 in a UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship bout.Pennington lost the fight via TKO in the fifth round. This was the first event in UFC history to be headlined by two openly gay fighters.
Pennington is openly lesbian. She is engaged to UFC Strawweight Tecia Torres.
Mixed martial arts recordProfessional record breakdown 15 matches 9 wins 6 losses By knockout 1 1 By submission 3 1 By decision 5 4 Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes Loss 9–6 Amanda Nunes TKO (punches) UFC 224 May 12, 2018 5 2:36 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil For the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Win 9–5 Miesha Tate Decision (unanimous) UFC 205 November 12, 2016 3 5:00 New York City, New York, United States Win 8–5 Elizabeth Phillips Decision (unanimous) UFC 202 August 20, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Win 7–5 Bethe Correia Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans April 16, 2016 3 5:00 Tampa, Florida, United States Win 6–5 Jéssica Andrade Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 191 September 5, 2015 2 4:58 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night. Loss 5–5 Holly Holm Decision (split) UFC 184 February 28, 2015 3 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States Win 5–4 Ashlee Evans-Smith Technical Submission (bulldog choke) UFC 181 December 6, 2014 1 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Loss 4–4 Jéssica Andrade Decision (split) UFC 171 March 15, 2014 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Win 4–3 Roxanne Modafferi Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate Finale November 30, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Loss 3–3 Leslie Smith Decision (unanimous) Invicta FC: Esparza vs. Hyatt January 5, 2013 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Loss 3–2 Cat Zingano Submission (rear-naked choke) Invicta FC: Penne vs. Sugiyama October 6, 2012 2 3:32 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Win 3–1 Raquel Pa'aluhi Submission (guillotine choke) Destiny MMA: Na Koa 1 September 8, 2012 1 3:52 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Won the Destiny MMA World / Hawaiian Islands Bantamweight Championship. Win 2–1 Sarah Moras Decision (unanimous) Invicta FC: Baszler vs. McMann July 28, 2012 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Loss 1–1 Tori Adams Decision (unanimous) RMBB/TB: A Champion's Quest June 22, 2012 3 5:00 Sheridan, Colorado, United States Win 1–0 Kim Couture TKO (knees) MFP: Vengeance March 13, 2012 2 2:25 Casper, Wyoming, United States
Mixed martial arts exhibition recordExhibition record breakdown 3 matches 2 wins 1 loss By knockout 0 0 By submission 1 0 By decision 1 1 Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes Loss 2-1 Jessica Rakoczy Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate November 27, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Semifinal bout. Win 2-0 Jessamyn Duke Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate October 9, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Quarterfinal bout. Win 1-0 Tonya Evinger Submission (guillotine choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate September 4, 2013 2 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Preliminary bout.
Mixed martial arts amateur recordAmateur record breakdown 8 matches 7 wins 1 loss By knockout 0 0 By submission 5 0 By decision 2 1 Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes Win 7–1 Heather Denny Submission (triangle choke) RMBB - Extreme MMA August 12, 2011 2 1:59 Sheridan, Colorado, United States Win 6–1 J.J. Aldrich Submission (triangle choke) RMBB - Bad Girlz Gone Wild January 21, 2011 2 1:44 Sheridan, Colorado, United States Loss 5–1 Taylor Stratford Decision (split) URC 13 - Brute Force June 11, 2010 3 3:00 Reno, Nevada, United States Win 5–0 Tsui-Jen Cunanan Decision (unanimous) RMBB - Caged Madness January 16, 2010 3 3:00 Sheridan, Colorado, United States Win 4–0 Kyane Hampton Submission (rear-naked choke) NMEF / RMBB - Annihilation 20: Clash of the Titans 5 October 24, 2009 2 0:45 Greeley, Colorado, United States Win 3–0 Kyane Hampton Submission (rear-naked choke) Kickdown 67 - Blast June 20, 2009 1 2:52 Denver, Colorado, United States Win 2–0 Ericka Trujillo Decision (unanimous) Kickdown 62 - Extreme April 5, 2009 3 3:00 Casper, Wyoming, United States Win 1–0 Staci Vega Submission (guillotine choke) Kickdown 60 - Supremacy February 21, 2009 1 1:45 Casper, Wyoming, United States
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