Raquel “Rocky” Pennington was ready to demonstrate fury outside of the UFC cage if her upcoming title fight with Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes had been canceled.
Even after the fight had long been scheduled for UFC 224, UFC head Dana White openly discussed the possibility of Nunes’ next fight being a champion vs champion superfight with the featherweight champion and female P4P toplister Cris Cyborg.
Pennington was angry that there was even a hint of her fight being cancelled.
Pennington (9-5) told the MMA Hour, “I have to admit I was frustrated with it and I started making calls right away because I don’t find that very fair at all.” I think I’ve definitely earned this spot and I think that fight deserved to be mine. So the fact that they’re just wanting to see a superfight really pissed me off, given the fact that Cyborg’s in a completely different division and then you’re trying to take the champion from our division and create this huge superfight.”
“You just want another girl with another name or two Brazilians? Like, what’s happening here? So there was a lot of frustration there, but it’s kind of one of those things that it’s not really in your control so why let it bother you so much?”
All ended well as the fight was confirmed and cancellation talked ceased. And while she was not happy at the prospect of losing her place in the title contention line, she totally understands why the UFC wants to match Nunes versus Cyborg. Even so,
“The part that bothers me is the fact that Cyborg’s in a completely different division,” Pennington said. “She’s at 145, she’s not in our division, and all of us who have been working hard, who have been sitting here waiting for this position or me, myself, coming back from injuries, I feel I have definitely earned my position. I’ve sat here and I’ve grinded my way to the top and done things, it hasn’t been an easy career for me. So I feel like this is something that I definitely deserved and to just all of a sudden, another fight in a completely different division, ‘Oh well, we’re going to make a superfight,’ I don’t get why all these superfights or these interim titles and all this stuff is happening.
“For me, it kind of feels like the worth is being taken away a little bit, I guess you can say, from the championship belts and stuff like that, just because so much stuff is being thrown around and sometimes it feels more of entertainment than it does for sport. But at the end of the day, whatever’s bringing money in for them and like I said, there are some things that are out of your control and you’ve gotta just kind of go with the flow of it.”
Moreover, Rocky isn’t ruling out a possible between herself and Cyborg. Her bravado speaks for itself:
“So it’s like they’re pulling people out of the 135 division and whatnot, but speaking for myself, Cyborg, she’s just another female. Yeah, she’s a little bit heavier, I walk heavier normally, so it wouldn’t be something that I’m gonna say that I’d push to the side, I’m more than definitely willing to go out and fight her one day.”
Would you like to see Rocky vs Cyborg in the future?