Raquel Pennington narrowly beat Ketlen Vieira by split decision tonight at UFC Fight Night 217.
Pennington paws out with the jab without landing. She goes for a superman punch but comes up short. Punch from Vieira.
Inside leg kick for Pennington. Overhand from Vieira doesn’t land. Pennington bursts forward, but eats a jab.
Right hand for Pennington now. Now she lands to the body and then the jab upstairs. Inside leg kick again.
left hook from Vieira grazes the target. Jab for Vieira. Pennington lands to the body and then head, but Vieira fires back with a knee.
Leg kick for Pennington, punch from Vieira. Missed superman punch from Vieira. Outside leg kick from Vieira. Head movement from her as Pennington tries to pump out the jab.
Body kick from Pennington as Vieira looks for punches. Jab for Pennington. Combination from Pennington.
Inside leg kicks from Vieira. Nice jab to the body from Pennington. Vieira with a few clean punches. Pennington drives into the clinch and goes to the cage for the remaining seconds of the round.
Pennington pawing out with the jab. She tries to load up on a hook but Vieira steps back out of range.
Pennington works to the body. leg kicks exchanged. Pennington steps into a nice right hand. She lands the jab and misses on a hook. Now she drives into the clinch and ends up moved around to her back as they go over to the cage.
Vieira able to turn into her and lands a punch as she exits. They both look to land at closer range and Pennington draws blood from the nose of Vieira.
Pennington into the clinch again, but Vieira turns and presses her into the cage. Knee from Pennington strays low and forces a brief stoppage, but Vieira is ok to continue.
Double jab for Pennington. Inside leg kicks from Vieira. Right hand from Vieira glances the target and an inside leg kick. Pennington letting her hands go. She lands a crisp straight right.
Vieira in the clinch and marches Pennington over to the cage. Vieira not doing too much with the position though and Pennington lands a few knees to the body. Vieira moves around to the back, but before she can really do anything with that the round is over.
Inside leg kicks from Pennington. Now a nice right hand. Inside leg kick from Vieira and Pennington returns with one of her own.
Superman punch finally lands from Pennington. Now Vieira with a combination that lands. Hard straight for Vieira and then drives into the clinch against the cage.
Knee strike to the body from Pennington as Vieira lacks urgency from the dominant clinch position. Vieira trying to go for light body-head combos.
Pennington able to break free. She lands a right hand. Inside leg kick for Vieira. Pennington clinches up against the cage now.
Half the final round remaining as they stall in the clinch. Punch for Pennington. Both exchange short punches. Vieira turns the clinch position in her favor. Body punches for Vieira. Pennington gets the thai clinch and lands a knee to the body. Vieira backs up a little and then lands an elbow as she goes back in.
Pennington almost breaking free along the cage, but Vieira immediately closes the gap again. Right lands for Vieira. Pennington trying to reverse position, but Vieira maintains the spot and then works around to the back.
Vieira manages to get a hook on but soon gives up on that. Knees to the back of the thigh from Vieira. Pennington trying to punch backwards. Vieira staying tight to her back though to frustrate her and run down the final seconds of the round.
A close fight then with neither fighter able to make a definitive statement. The judges render a split-decision verdict and it’s Raquel Pennington who emerges with the victory (29-28 x2, 28-29), perhaps for showing a little more urgency and aggression, while in hindsight Vieira may also regret spending so much time in the later rounds stalling from clinch position.