Here’s some news for ya. Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington are set to face off. This showdown is happening at UFC 297. What’s at stake, you ask? The women’s bantamweight crown.
Oh, and did I mention? The title’s up for grabs ’cause Amanda Nunes decided to hang up her gloves in June.
Now, get this. Silva was so pumped when she heard the news, she got a little mixed up. She initially thought she’d be stepping into the Octagon with former champ Julianna Pena, not Pennington.
She says, “At first I thought it was going to be Julianna, so we started watching all of Julianna’s fights after dinner.” This is straight from the horse’s mouth during a chat with MMAFighting.com.
But here’s the kicker. A week later, she found out it was against Raquel. She didn’t even think about it, she just assumed it was Julianna because that’s who they were prepping for.
She was so thrilled to fight for the UFC title, she didn’t even ask who the opponent was. Can you believe it?
Now, Silva would have preferred Pena as an opponent for the spotlight. But she thinks Pennington will be the tougher fight.
She says, “Like it or not, Julianna would be more exciting as a fight. Not that Raquel is a bad athlete, but Julianna promotes fights better. Raquel is not that type of person, she doesn’t talk too much. She’s the type of athlete that likes to fight, and that’s it, so I was like, ‘Damn, I’ll have to try to promote this fight on my own.’ But my total focus is the best regardless.”
Silva believes the fight just got a bit tougher, because Raquel is tougher than Julianna. But it doesn’t matter because the focus is the same. Raquel is physically stronger. She’s been through ups and downs in the organization, she’s a veteran that brings more danger in the striking area than Julianna.
Now, here’s a twist. Pena pulled out of a trilogy clash against Nunes in June and couldn’t recover in time for the UFC 297 title fight. The former champ has dismissed the Silva vs. Pennington as an “interim” clash and expects to fight for the title on her return. However, Silva isn’t so sure.
She says, “Julianna will stay injured for the rest of her career. She doesn’t want to fight. She just wants to talk. All she does is noise. I have so much fun with her. Every time she posts something about me, it’s just funny to me. I hope this fight happens, because it will fans will have so much fun. I promise to beat the crap out of her and show who’s the boss.”