Raquel Pennington picked up another impressive win at UFC Vegas 67 after earning a hard-fought split decision over Ketlen Vieira.
After a difficult start, Pennington adjusted her approach to make Vieira more vulnerable. She also displayed superior speed and boxing throughout the fight. Although Vieira tried to respond, it was not enough to convince the judges to her favour.
The final tally had two judges giving Pennington the fight with 29-28 scores with the third official giving the same 29-28 score to Vieira. Pennington won the fight with 29-[********** scores, and Vieira was awarded the same score.
” “Honestly, I just wanted to get out there and try a bit more,” Pennington stated. I prepared so hard for the fight. I am relieved. It is frustrating because I have a past with judges. But I felt like I did do enough. I was only coming out .”
It was an exciting game with Vieira moving forward, and Pennington responding with quick hands. In return. Vieira was setting up her counter strikes while clearly displaying more power in her hands and also connecting with a quick knee when Pennington got a little too aggressive on the inside.
Vieira was also using her reach advantage, which helped her keep Pennington on the end of her punches but she still had to be wary when The Ultimate Fighter veteran uncorked a combination. Pennington was able to hit multiple strikes at once, and this helped her catch Vieira.
Pennington’s pressure and pace were paying dividends as she really began landing with clean punches that kept Vieira on her heels. Realizing the fight was potentially slipping away from her, Vieira went back to a more aggressive style and that allowed her to start connecting with better strikes, although Pennington seemed undeterred by the challenge.
With time ticking away to the final horn, Vieira sought to swing the odds in her direction with more clinch work against the cage but Pennington wasn’t allowing her to do much from there. While Vieira was maintaining control and even attempting to get her opponent’s back just before time expired, Pennington was still more offensive minded throwing punches and knees that likely helped her secure the decision.
Pennington fell short in her previous bid to become UFC champion but with this win she takes a major step forward towards another shot at gold and perhaps a rematch with Amanda Nunes in the future.
“I am going to say this — five fight win streak,” Pennington shouted. “I deserve respect. Here we are.”