Weekly MMA News Round-Up: A title fight that wasn't meant to be
From re-bookings to fighters turned pro-wrestler to fight announcements.
It's not often that non-fighting related accidents cause fight cancellations. But there were two this week and they happened to fighters both in the same division. We also got news of two different cases of former fighters turning... or potentially turning to the pro wrestling world. Let's get to it, shall we? Here's your weekly MMA round-up.
#1 Nunes vs Pennington appeared to be greenlit for UFC 219
Raquel Pennington has impressively climbed her way into title contention with a four-fight winning streak since her loss to Holly Holm at UFC 184. She currently sits at #4 in the UFC's official rankings and last fought at UFC 205 where she defeated her former Ultimate Fighter coach as well as the former champion, Miesha Tate.
It had seemed like all systems were go for Rocky to get her first crack at gold with the organization, but then disaster reared its ugly head.
Pennington has had eight fights under the UFC banner and gone 6-2 since debuting. She had been preparing for a return sooner than now but shoulder surgery prevented that from happening. This unfortunate news further postpones her comeback.
Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington is a very interesting title fight and it is the one to make for Nunes' next title defence. Rocky is one of the toughest and most durable fighters in the division and has only ever been finished once in her career(five losses).
Her boxing and tenaciousness make the matchup fun whether fans initially realize it or not. Hopefully Rocky can heal up quickly and healthily so we can see it sooner rather than later.
Outside of Pennington, there aren't too many good options for Nunes at the moment. Most logically next in line after Pennington would have to be the former and inaugural Featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie who has now returned to the division after defeating Holly Holm. After GDR would be Ketlen Vieira who is quickly making her presence felt after upsetting Sara McMann at UFC 215.
Then we have a possible super fight between Nunes and Cris Cyborg at 145 lbs. But both have stated they have no interest in fighting one another so that option remains least likely... though Pennington's absence strengthens its initial chance.