American MMA fighter

Raquel Len “Rocky” Pennington (born September 5, 1988) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight division. She has previously fought for Invicta Fighting Championships. As December 16, 2019, she is #5 in the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings.[2]


Early life[edit]

Pennington grew up playing many sports from basketball, softball, volleyball, running cross country, to always wanting to box. She graduated from Harrison High School in 2007 as secretary of the National Honors Society, with many athletic and academic scholarships. She never played sports on a collegiate level due to a broken back. Pennington took an academic Scholarship to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs for pre-med in hopes to continue her education at med school and eventually become a doctor.[3][4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Pennington started training in martial arts at the age of 19, though initially her parents would not let her fight.[4] She fought in amateur MMA from 2009 to 2011, amassing a record of 7 wins and 1 loss with five of those wins by submission.[5] Her professional debut was in March 2012, a TKO victory against Kim Couture.

Invicta Fighting Championships[edit]

Pennington made her Invicta Fighting Championships promotional debut against future The Ultimate Fighter team mate Sarah Moras on July 28, 2012 at Invicta FC 2. She won via unanimous decision.[6]

Her next two fights for the promotion were both losses; one to Cat Zingano at Invicta FC 3[7] and one to Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 4.[8]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In August 2013, Pennington was announced as a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate.[9] She defeated veteran Tonya Evinger via submission due to a guillotine choke in the first round and was the third female pick of Team Tate.[10]

Raquel Pennington faced Jessamyn Duke in the elimination round. Pennington defeated Duke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)[11] and the performance earned both participants Fight of The Season honors.[12]

Advancing to the semi-final, Pennington next faced former boxing champion Jessica Rakoczy in the final episode of the series. Prior to the fight, Pennington damaged her hand but was still able to fight. She lost a unanimous decision to Rakoczy (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).[13]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Pennington made her promotional debut against TUF 18 team mate Roxanne Modafferi on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. She won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).[14]

For her second fight with the promotion, Pennington replaced an injured Julianna Peña against Jéssica Andrade on March 15, 2014 at UFC 171. She lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.[15]

Pennington was scheduled to face Holly Holm at UFC 181 on December 6, 2014. However, Holm pulled out of the fight in mid-November, citing a neck injury.[16] Holm was replaced by UFC newcomer Ashlee Evans-Smith.[17] Pennington won the fight via technical submission due to a bulldog choke at the end of the first round. She became the 4th fighter in UFC history to finish a fight with that move.

Pennington fought Holly Holm at UFC 184 on February 28, 2015, a bout that was originally supposed to take place at UFC 181. She lost the fight via split decision.

Pennington was set to take on Liz Carmouche at UFC 191. Carmouche was then replaced by former opponent Jéssica Andrade.[18] Pennington won the fight by submission in the second round.[19][20]

Pennington faced former UFC Bantamweight Champion and former TUF Coach Miesha Tate at UFC 205 on November 12th, 2016. She won the fight by unanimous decision, outstriking and outwrestling Tate for all three rounds.[21]

UFC Bantamweight Championship challenge[edit]

After being away from fighting for about a year and a half, Pennington faced Amanda Nunes on May 12, 2018 at UFC 224 in a UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship bout.[22] Pennington lost the fight via TKO in the fifth round.[23] This was the first event in UFC history to be headlined by two openly gay fighters.[24]

Pennington returned at UFC Fight Night 139 on November 10, 2018 where she took on former UFC featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie.[25] She lost the fight via unanimous decision.[26]

Pennington faced Irene Aldana on July 20, 2019 at UFC on ESPN 4.[27] She won the fight via split decision.[28]

Pennington was scheduled to face Holly Holm on October 6, 2019 at UFC 243.[29] However, on September 27, it was revealed Holm withdrew from the bout due to a hamstring injury and the bout was cancelled.[30] The pair was rescheduled to fight on January 18, 2020 at UFC 246.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Pennington is openly lesbian. She is engaged to UFC Strawweight Tecia Torres.[32][33]


Mixed martial arts record[edit]


See also[edit]


  • ^ “Fight Card – UFC 191 Johnson vs. Dodson 2”. Retrieved September 6, cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  • ^ “Rankings | UFC”. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  • ^ “Raquel Pennington Facebook Bio”. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  • ^ a b c “Raquel Pennington – Official UFC Fighter Profile”. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  • ^ “Raquel “Rocky” Pennington MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  • ^ Brian Knapp (July 29, 2012). “Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann downs Shayna Baszler at Invicta FC 2”. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  • ^ Brian Knapp (October 6, 2012). “Jessica Penne triangles Naho Sugiyama captures atomweight gold at Invicta FC 3”. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  • ^ Sargent, Robert (2013-01-05). “Invicta FC 4 Results: Carla Esparza Wins Strawweight Title”. Articles. Canada: Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  • ^ Guilherme Cruz (August 15, 2013). “TUF 18 cast revealed with male and female bantamweights”. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  • ^ Mike Bohn (September 5, 2013). “Episode No. 1 recap: ‘The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate'”. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  • ^ Mike Bohn (October 10, 2013). “Episode No. 6 recap: ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate'”. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  • ^ Geno Mrosko (December 1, 2013). “Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 season bonuses: Rakoczy, Duke, Pennington, and Moras bank $25K”. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  • ^ Mike Bohn (November 27, 2013). “Episode No. 13 recap: ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate'”.
  • ^ Matt Erickson (November 30, 2013). “TUF 18 Finale results: Raquel Pennington gets past ‘TUF’ teammate Roxanne Modafferi”.
  • ^ Matt Erickson (March 15, 2014). “UFC 171 results: Jessica Andrade slugs way past Raquel Pennington for split win”.
  • ^ AP Newswire (2014-11-13). “Holly Holm pulls out of UFC debut”. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
  • ^ Mike Jackson (2014-11-18). “Ashlee Evans-Smith signs with UFC, replaces Holly Holm”. Retrieved 2014-11-18.
  • ^ Mike Sloan (2015-08-19). “Jessica Andrade Replaces Liz Carmouche, Rematches Raquel Pennington at UFC 191”. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  • ^ Brent Brookhouse (2015-09-05). “UFC 191 results, highlights: Raquel Pennington taps Jessica Andrade on ‘revenge tour'”. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  • ^ Tristen Critchfield (2015-09-05). “UFC 191 Bonuses: John Lineker, Francisco Rivera garner $50K for wild slugfest”. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  • ^ “UFC 205 results: Raquel Pennington dominates Miesha Tate, who announces retirement”. MMAjunkie. 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  • ^ DNA, MMA. “Amanda Nunes verdedigt Bantamweight titel tegen Raquel Pennington tijdens UFC 224”. Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  • ^ “Raquel Pennington wanted UFC 224 fight stopped after fourth, but corner talked her out of it”. MMAjunkie. 2018-05-13. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  • ^ “UFC’s Next Big Event is Headlined By Two Queer Women. It’s a Big Deal”.
  • ^ Jay Anderson (2018-08-09). “Germaine de Randamie vs. Raquel Pennington Leads Trio of Women’s Bouts at UFC Denver”. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  • ^ “UFC Denver results: Germaine de Randamie cruises to decision over Raquel Pennington”. MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  • ^ Lee, Alexander K. (2019-05-16). “UFC San Antonio bouts announced, including Liz Carmouche vs. Roxanne Modafferi, Aleksei Oleinik vs. Walt Harris”. MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  • ^ Harshman, Heath (2019-07-20). “UFC San Antonio Results: Raquel Pennington Snaps Skid with Split-Decision Win Over Irene Aldana”. Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  • ^ “Holly Holm-Raquel Pennington Rematch Set for UFC 243 in Melbourne”. Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  • ^ “Holly Holm injured, rematch with Raquel Pennington scratched from UFC 243”. MMA Junkie. 2019-09-28. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  • ^ Rodriguez, Victor (2019-12-02). “Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington 2 rescheduled for UFC 246”. Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  • ^ Mark LaMonica (October 3, 2013). “TUF’s Raquel Pennington on being a gay athlete”.
  • ^ MMA Fighting Newswire (2017-05-14). “UFC fighters Tecia Torres, Raquel Pennington get engaged”. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  • ^ “Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 season bonuses: Rakoczy, Duke, Pennington, and Moras bank $25K”. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  • ^ “Raquel”. Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  • External links[edit]