Amanda Nunes retained her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight title last weekend (Sat., Sept. 9, 2017) after defeating Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC 215.
Despite a close bout, not everyone was impressed with the fight, including top 135-pound contender Raquel Pennington, who says the highlight package made the fight look a lot more exciting than what it really was.
“It was a close fight but I would have to give it to Amanda, It went the way it was supposed to go, I guess. I don’t feel like either one of them went out there and did anything,” said Raquel during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
“The highlights made the fight look a lot more exciting than what it really was.”
As Pennington sees it, since the first fight offered plenty, the rematch should have been more exciting given the fact that both ladies had a lot to prove and fight for.
“I wasn’t impressed with either one of them. Their first fight was a lot different and if they had two more rounds (in first fight) Valentina could’ve wont that fight. I expected a lot more of a performance on both ends and it just seemed that they were waiting for each other to react,” she added.
“Amanda didn’t want to react, she stayed in front, though, but Valentina didn’t really react. I figured with the close fight of before that Valentina would come out and put on a big performance.”
“And Amanda wanting to keep the belt, should want to go out and dominate. But to see them go back-and-forth and just stand in front of each other, it annoyed because they were bragging up their cardio and stuff, but in my opinion anyone can stand in front of each other and do that for a couple of hours.”
Pennington — who is ranked No. 5 in the world — hasn’t competed since sending Miesha Tate into retirement last November, citing three major surgeries including mouth and shoulder surgery, as reason for her absence.
That said, Pennington doesn’t believe in ring rust and says he her time off won’t affect her when she next steps foot inside the cage. But, if she wants a title shot against Nunes, she will have to wait a bit longer, as “Lioness” has already declared she won’t return to action until 2018 after her latest title defense.
More on that here.
And it’s just fine by “Rocky,” who says she is willing to wait for her first-ever shot at gold. But, if the promotion throws her a “warm up fight” against someone like Julianna Pena, she will be ready to rock-and-roll.
Your move, UFC.