The UFC have finally made it’s mind up about who former decorated boxing champion Holly Holm will face in her Octagon debut, with Raquel Pennington now set as her opponent at UFC 181 on December 6th in Las Vegas.
The promotion had previously hinted that they were considering the unranked Milana Dudieva, but have now settled on Pennington who is currently placed at No.15 in the woman’s bantamweight division, one place above Holm.
Pennington arrived in the UFC last year after competing on TUF season 18 where she made it to the semi-final stages before losing out by unanimous decision to Jessica Rakoczy.
The 26 year-old Pennington then went on to beat Roxanne Modaferri by unanimous decision in her official UFC debut at the TUF 18 Finale, but has since dropped a split decision to Jessica Andrade, leaving her 4-4 overall in her professional career.
Meanwhile, Holm is considered to be a potential title challenger for Ronda Rousey given her impressive boxing record which saw her become an 18 time world champion winning titles in three different weight classes, producing an overall 33-2-3 record along the way.
She also has a background in kickboxing and that’s stood her in good stead since transitioning over to MMA competition and she’s so far amassed a 7-0 record, with all but one of those victories coming by way of strikes, including five via kicks.
So, when it comes to striking pedigree Holm is in a class of her own in the division, but of course it’s Rousey’s ground game that’s so feared, and that’s an area that Holm still has to do the most work on which is why she herself seems happy to work her way through the ranks rather than get thrown straight into the title hunt.
With Holm Vs Pennington now on-board UFC 181 is continuing to look like a must-see fight card to end out the UFC’s PPV coverage in 2014, with a welterweight title rematch between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler headlining, while lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will also be looking to defend his lightweight title against fellow TUF 20 coach Gilbert Melendez in the co-main event.