Dana White: Raquel Pennington will be backup for Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana title fight at UFC 289
Dana White revealed that Raquel Pennington will serve as an alternate for the UFC 289 title fight.
Pennington (15-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC) originally was scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night 224 against Irene Aldana on May 20, but Aldana was pulled from the fight and given a title shot against Amanda Nunes when the bantamweight champion needed a new opponent for UFC 289.
Aldana (14-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) will replace an injured Julianna Peña against Nunes (22-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) on June 10, and White said Pennington will be the backup. The card takes place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
“First of all, I love the Irene Aldana fight,” White told The Schmo. “For us to be able to move so quickly and get another fight in there, press conference (Friday), and she’ll be here. Raquel Pennington will be the backup on that card. So she’ll train, cut and make weight, and if anything happens to either (Nunes or Alanda), she’ll step in.”
Pennington fell short in her title pursuit against Nunes in 2018 when she lost by Round 5 TKO at UFC 224. She since has won six of her past eight – including a win over Aldana in 2019. “Rocky” currently is on a five-fight winning streak.
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Aldana is coming off two straight TKO wins over Yana Santos and Macy Chiasson. The 35-year-old Mexican fighter has won four of her past five fights. Dual-champion Nunes regained the bantamweight title when she battered Peña in their rematch at UFC 277 in July 2022.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 289.