Holly Holm was set to run back her UFC debut matchup earlier this year but was forced out via injury. Now things have lined up for UFC 246.
February 28, 2015, marked the day that future UFC champion Holly Holm (12-5) would make her Octagon debut. Standing across from her at UFC 184 on that fateful day inside the Staples Center was The Ultimate Fighter season 18 contestant Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (10-7).
As a legend of the boxing world turned undefeated 8-0 mixed martial artist, Holm entered into the ultimate proving ground where she received her toughest battle yet after a litany of highlight-reel knockouts. Pennington gave the seasoned striker everything she could ask for but ultimately came up short as Holm earned the only split decision nod of her entire career (including boxing and MMA).
Now, fast forward roughly five years later and the two are going to do the dance once again.
After the rematch was initially slated and booked for UFC 243 earlier this year on October 6 in Melbourne, Australia, MMA Junkie has confirmed as of Monday the fights rescheduling for UFC 246 on January 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight fell through for UFC 243 due to Holm, 38, suffering a hamstring injury.
Since their first encounter, each woman has found themselves in the title scene to varying levels of success. For Holm, of course, following her win over Pennington, she would defeat Marion Reneau to earn her first UFC title shot. That being when she would dethrone Ronda Rousey to become the second-ever UFC bantamweight titleholder. Overall, Holm has gone 4-5 since facing Pennington with four of those losses coming in championship bouts – two of which were at featherweight. Her most recent fight being her first-round TKO loss to current 135-pound champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 239.
On the other hand with Pennington, she’s found much better success than her adversary – on paper and from a record perspective, that is.
Pennington is 5-2 since the loss to Holm and just recently snapped a two-fight losing streak which saw her face the aforementioned Nunes and the next title challenger and former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. She did so by halting the momentum of rising Mexican contender Irene Aldana with a split decision victory at UFC San Antonio.
During “Rocky’s” winning streak to earn a title shot of her own, she defeated the likes of former champion Miesha Tate as well as the future champion at strawweight, Jessica Andrade.
UFC 246 is shaping up to be a pretty fun card despite its lack of a title to be fought over. With Holm having lost multiple title fights so recently, it’s hard to say exactly where a win will put her in regards to the No. 1 contender race. The same could arguably be said for Pennington. Either way, it’s an interesting rematch on the first big event of the new year.
The event’s current lineup can be seen below.
- Welterweight – 170lbs: Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone
- Flyweight – 125lbs: Maycee Barber vs. Roxanne Modafferi
- Lightweight – 155lbs: Drew Dober vs. Nasrat Haqparast
- Featherweight – 145lbs: Grant Dawson vs. Chas Skelly
- Heavyweight – 207-265lbs: Maurice Greene vs. Aleksei Oleinik
- Strawweight – 115lbs: Claudia Gadelha vs. Alexa Grasso
- Featherweight: Andre Fili vs. Sodiq Yusuff
- Lightweight: Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Anthony Pettis
- Flyweight: Askar Askarov vs. Tim Elliott
- Bantamweight – 135lbs: Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
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The Scrap’s Drake Riggs is an MMA writer and YouTuber based out of Brush Prairie, Washington who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. Riggs has been a passionate MMA fan since 2009 and has written for various news sources. You can follow him on Twitter (@Dre_Kriggs).