Raquel Pennington won the vacant bantamweight title tonight at UFC 297 with a unanimous decision victory over Mayra Bueno Silva.
Inside leg kick for Pennington. Calf kick for Silva. Pennington with a short flurry of punches. Body kick lands for Pennington.
Pennington in on a single leg and trying to walk Silva over to the cage. Silva is able to turn her into the cage though. Knees exchanged and then they break away.
Pennington with punches. Calf kick for Silva. One-two for Pennington. Now a jab from her. Body kick and then a single leg attempt from Pennington, but Silva hops on one leg and lands a few elbows.
Silva gets out of the takedown attempt and goes on the attack, landing a knee to the body and then working for a takedown of her own against the cage. Silva does well to pull Pennington’s legs out and bring her to the mat. Silva able to work around to Pennington’s back. She’s trying to work a choke as Pennington stands up.
Silva stays on Pennington’s back but ‘Rocky’ is trapping her arm to prevent a submission attempt. Silva gardually comes off her back and now settles for clinching up against the cage.
Silva able to drag Pennington to the mat and has her back as she sits with her own back up against the cage.
Pennington with a few punches behind her to the head as the round draws to a close.
Pennington landing the jab several times to start the second round. Silva landing calf kicks. Right hand for Pennington. A few more jabs for Pennington, but then Silva closes distance and presses her up against the cage.
Silva working, but then Pennington does a good job to reverse the position. They get some space and exchange punches, then Silva goes back to the clinch up against the cage again.
Body punch from Silva. Pennington lands a punch as she gets out of the cage. Pennington lands a good punch and then another. Now Pennington marches forward with straight punches as Silva backs off looking troubled. For some reason Pennington opts to clinch up against the cage though rather than capitalizing on her striking.
That gives Silva time to clear the cobwebs and then reverses the clinch. Silva gets around to Pennington’s back and then hops up onto it. Silva goes for the rear-naked choke, but Pennington hangs on in there and survives that attempt.
Pennington drops down to the mat to try to shake Silva off. it works out for her as she ends the round partially on top.
Calf kick for Silva. Pennington with punches, but then Silva lands a leg kick and a nice punch. Silva clinches up and tries to walk Pennington over to the cage, but Pennington turns into her. They jockey for position against the cage. They exchange a few knees as they continue to battle for control.
Series of knees to the upper thigh of Silva. More knees exchanged and then Silva goes for a hip throw. Pennington right back up though. Pennington stays in the clinch and Silva works for a guillotine. Pennington gets her head free and continues in the clinch.
Elbow from Silva in close. Light body punches from Pennington. Silva turns her into the cage and lands a knee to the body. Pennington with a knee to the midsection. Elbow from Pennington. Silva lands elbows too and then works for a takedown against the cage. She gets Pennington down, but she’s right back up.
Pennington gets on top of Silva now and thinks about a submission but doesn’t commit to it. Pennington stands and Silva isn’t in a hurry to get back up.
Silva does eventually stand, but Pennington brings her down again. She’s working in Silva’s guard and lands a few punches. Silva looks tired as she gets back up and goes to her corner.
Superman punch from Pennington lands. Body kick for her. Body kick in response from Silva and another behind it. And a third.
Silva goes into the clinch against the cage looking for a takedown, but Pennington turns into her.
Not much happening in the clinch and the crowd are getting restless. Silva manages to edge her way off the cage, lands a few elbows and pushes Pennington into the cage.
Silva moves around to Pennington’s back. She has one hook in and Pennington elbows that leg. Silva drags her to the mat and sinks in a tight rear-naked choke. Silva cranking hard on this, but she slips off it and Pennington ends up on top.
Half-guard for Pennington and lands elbows to the body. Silva gets her back into full guard. Hammerfists for Pennington as Silva tries to set up a triangle choke. Nothing doing for Silva for now on the submission front though. Pennington stands for a moment and drops straight back down again with a punch.
Pennington in Silva’s full guard and grinding her elbow into her opponent’s face. Pennington postures and lands a good punch. Hammerfists landing. Final 10 seconds and she lands an elbow and more hammerfists.
Pennington firing out the jab to start the final round. Spinning backfist attempt from Silva. Silva looks to clinch, but Pennington turns into her against the cage.
Right hook and a few more punches behind it from Pennington, but that enables Silva to turn back into her and land a takedown. Silva thinks about a kneebar, but Pennington gets on top and moves into the guard and is working on an arm-triangle choke.
Silva looked like she was going to tap, but then opts not to and gives a thumbs up. Pennington staying on top but not fully cranking on this arm-triangle. She adjusts position and tries to finish again. Silva surviving though and eventually Pennington gives up on it for now. Silva able to bring her back to her full guard.
Pennington opting for ground-and-pound punches and elbows now in the final minute. Hammerfists and then stands over Silva. She lands a punch and stays on her feet to kick at her opponents legs. Silva not making any attempt to stand here which isn’t a good look this late in the fighht. We’re headed to the scorecards.
Despite the fact Pennington was getting the better of the striking exchanges at times in the fight she was often just happy to contest with Silva in the clinch. Nevertheless, she had more gas left in the tank in the championship rounds and got on top for an extended period in the final five minutes to help ensure she emerged as the new womens’ bantamweight champion via unanimous decision (49-46 x2, 49-45).