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Jessica Penne would take Michelle Waterson rematch over title fight: 'That girl got lucky and she knows it'

Esther Lin, Invicta FC

LOS ANGELES -- Jessica Penne wasted absolutely no time. Even when she thought there was just a possibility Michelle Waterson might sign with the UFC, Penne was asking for a rematch with her.

Penne said she saw Waterson at Invicta FC 11 in February and immediately made a beeline for UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby.

"I saw her try to flirt and bat her eyes at [UFC president] Dana [White] and [CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta]," Penne said Wednesday at a media lunch. "I asked Shelby, because he was there. I said, 'Shelby, is she gonna come over?' He said, 'We don't have anything yet.' I said, 'As soon as that happens, I want her.'"

Penne did not get her wish. She'll get a lovely parting gift instead: a title shot against women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the main event of UFC Fight Night 69 on June 20 in Berlin. Penne, though, said that she would actually rather have a fight with Waterson than a showdown with the champ. That's how hard she took a loss to Waterson two years ago.

In December 2013, Waterson submitted Penne with an armbar in the fourth round of their Invicta atomweight title fight. Waterson took the belt from Penne, who held it for more than a year. Penne (12-2) was winning the fight up until that point and it still stands as her only loss since 2010.

"I've been asking for that rematch," Penne said. "That girl got lucky and she knows it.

"I shouldn't have lost to her," Penne said. "It was like a one-in-a-million fluke."

Penne, 32, still wants the rematch, but concedes that it might take a while, especially since she believes she'll beat Jedrzejczyk for the title in Germany. Penne, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Randa Markos in December, isn't sure how well Waterson will do coming up from atomweight to the UFC's strawweight division. Waterson takes on Angela Magana in her UFC debut at the Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale on July 12 in Las Vegas.

"She has a long way to go before she gets a title shot," Penne said. "If and when the opportunity presents itself, I will gladly take [the rematch]."

Losing is not a thing that Penne can tolerate. She also would like a rematch against her friend Carla Esparza, who she fell to in the semifinals of the Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament last year. The only other defeat on Penne's record was five years ago against Zoila Frausto in Bellator.

The loss to Waterson really gets to her, though. More than the others. Penne said there's nothing personal at all. She just wants to avenge that 'L' on her record.

"I don't care about her as a person," Penne said. "That one just bothers me. Losing to someone you're so much better than just bothers me.

"It's not that I don't like Waterson. I just want a chance to beat her up."

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