LAS VEGAS – Raquel Pennington thinks she’s done more than enough for another UFC title shot.
Since losing to Holly Holm at UFC 246, Pennington (15-9 MMA, 12-5 UFC) has won five straight – including a split decision over Ketlen Vieira this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 217.
After knocking off the No. 2 ranked bantamweight in Vieira, Pennington says it’s time she got another crack at UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, who TKO’d her in Round 5 of a lopsided title fight in May 2018.
“I don’t feel like I should be denied anymore,” Pennington told reporters at the UFC Fight Night 217 post-fight news conference. “A five-fight win streak, how much more are people going to keep denying me? I feel like the respect needs to be put on my name at this point. Obviously I don’t have control of it, I would love to fight for the world title before the year’s over. If that doesn’t happen, then my ultimate goal is to be the No. 1 in the world and then start 2024 right. But, I’m ready to go.”
Nunes has been linked to a trilogy bout with Julianna Peña but is yet to have her next title defense booked. So if the UFC does opt to book Nunes vs. Peña 3, Pennington doesn’t plan on sitting out and waiting for the winner.
“I want to stay active,” Pennington said. “I love challenges, and that’s what it’s about. It doesn’t matter if it’s No. 1; it doesn’t matter if it’s No. 20. I just love challenges and as an athlete, we have a short window in all this. So I want to fight, I want to stay active, I want to do what I do, enjoy my passion, just go out there and have fun, and opportunities will continue to present themselves. Obviously the ultimate goal, give me that world title shot. Give me that No. 1 contender spot. But if they don’t want to do that, just give me somebody who wants to get punched in the face.”