Raquel Pennington was on the verge of the biggest fight of her career a week ago, but a freak hunting accident then left her fearing her career might be over.
According to the 29-year-old ‘Rocky’, her recent four-fight winning streak led to UFC officials offering her the chance to fight bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 219 on December 30th in Las Vegas.
Pennington revealed yesterday that she had already verbally agreed to the bout when she suffered a serious leg injury during a hunting trip earlier this week.
“It happened four days ago,” Pennington told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. “I was on my yearly hunting trip with my uncles and cousins, we were hunting that morning and coming down from the mountain in our side-by-sides (ATVs). It was snowing and when we went to turn the side-by-side flipped. It threw me out the side the same time it was flipping and the roll cage caught my leg and pinned me. My cousin fell out the driver seat on top of me, crawled out the window, and lifted it the best he could so I could drag myself out.
“They rushed me to the hospital. Thank God for my tall hunting boots because it protected my leg from fully shattering, which if that happened I would have to get my lower leg amputated. Also, where my bone is broken is the main nerve to your foot; luckily, the feeling came back and I passed the test otherwise I would have [drop foot], never being able to control my foot again. My calf is totally smashed in. Had an MRI of my knee and lower leg, they were worried I tore everything. If I tore from behind the knee they can’t fix it, but results came back and calf is just smashed bad. Should recover and in time the nerves will repair. So three to four month recovery.”
With Pennington now out of action until 2018, UFC officials have indicated that they’ve now shelved plans for Nunes to defend her title again before the year is out due to a lack of suitable challengers.