If you weren’t jumping out of your seat with excitement on Saturday night, during Amanda Nunes – Valentina Shevchenko II, then you have something in common with Raquel Pennington.
Leading up to the contest, some folks labelled it as one of the greatest, female fights to be booked to date by the UFC. The argument being that both Nunes and Shevchenko are two of the most skilled and well rounded, women fighters the game has ever seen.
While there’s no denying that both Nunes and Shevchenko are ridiculously talented and tough, the UFC 215 headliner didn’t live some people’s expectations. Case in point, Pennington had this to say about the bout, during the latest “MMA Hour” (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I wasn’t impressed with either one of them,” Pennington said.
“I don’t feel like either one of them really went out there and did anything. The highlights made the fight look a lot more exciting than what it really was,” she added. “Amanda, she had center control the entire time and I guess if you really want to break it down – I haven’t broken it down yet to see all the strikes landing and stuff and I didn’t pay attention to all that, I was just kind of watching the competition because I do believe I’m the No. 1 contender now. So that’s kind of more of what I was paying attention to.”
“…I just figured, with the close fight that they had before, that Valentina would come out given this opportunity and put on a bigger performance, and Amanda obviously wanting to keep the belt, she would go out there and try to dominate,”
Nunes emerged from the closely contested bout with a split decision win, and the bantamweight belt. Now it very well could be Pennington who faces Nunes next. Currently she’s ranked #5 in the division, but Shevchenko’s lost to Nunes twice now, Julianna Pena was submitted by Shevchenko in her last outing, and Holly Holm could challenge Cris “Cyborg” for the 145 belt next. Ronda Rousey, who is ranked #4, appears to be retired.