Raquel Pennington on UFC 246 Defeat: ‘I Wanted to Fight Not Be Hugged the Whole Time’

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 20, 2020

Raquel Pennington was not thrilled with the way her co-main event showdown with Holly Holm at UFC 246 transpired.

The former bantamweight title challenger was largely neutralized in the clinch for three rounds on Saturday, losing a unanimous decision to Holm in a rematch of a 2015 bout. Holm won their first meeting, which was also her Octagon debut, via split decision at UFC 184.

“Well, it was not the fight I wanted after waiting [five] years,” Pennington wrote on Instagram. “I wanted to fight not be hugged the whole time but that’s the fight game for you. Regardless I’m always thankful for my team, coaches, fiancée, family, friends, and true fans.”

Holm, meanwhile, admitted that she would have liked to have done more in victory, but she was still satisfied with her overall performance.

“It feels really good to have a win. I always want more, I always want perfection, I know that I have more that I could show. I’m very happy to have the win and start the year off right…I definitely wanted to be more clear and dominant, and I feel like I did that. I feel like I dominated, but I just didn’t do enough damage, that’s what I want to do – damage,” Holm said.

UFC president Dana White didn’t fault Holm for her approach, but he did criticize referee Jason Herzog for not stepping in when the action stalled against the fence.

“If you are not doing damage or advancing your position, you split the fighters up and make them actually fight,” White said at the UFC 246 post-fight press conference. “And I like this guy, I don’t want to bum this guy out, but he’s running around the Octagon, I’m like what f—ing fight is he watching? He’s moving around like he’s trying to stay out of the way, like there’s a f—ing war going on or something, and these guys are leaning up against the fence for four minutes. Are you s——ing me right now? I literally almost got up and walked out of that fight, I was so frustrated.”

However, White also said that Pennington didn’t pull the trigger as much as she should have.

“The problem with Raquel, and I said this to her a million times, she will not let her hands go. She’s got hands. She doesn’t let them go,” White said.

The 31-year-old Pennington has lost three of her last four Octagon appearances. Her lone victory during that stretch was significant: a split verdict over surging contender Irene Aldana at UFC on ESPN 4.


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