Raquel Pennington is back in the win column.
The one-time bantamweight title challenger picked up her first win in over two-and-a-half years by earning a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) against Irene Aldana on the preliminary portion of UFC on ESPN 4 on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
For Aldana, this loss ended a three-fight winning streak. Her pro record fell to 10-5.
The first two rounds were tightly contested, with a clear narrative being drawn as Aldana pressed forward and Pennington looked to counter. In the early going, it looked like Pennington had the advantage as she sharply counter-punched and drove front kicks to Aldana’s body to push her back, but Aldana’s output rarely waned and she was able to score with punches over the top, to the body, and with leg kicks.
Pennington appeared to be landing the harder shots, including a right hand in round two that got Aldana’s attention.
Still, going into round three it looked to be anybody’s fight and Pennington made sure to initiate the action with a quick takedown. Aldana countered with a calf slicer attempt, which Pennington was able to calmly work out of while finding room to land hammer fists. The fight ended with Aldana attacking Pennington’s leg and Pennington throwing more strikes on the ground.
With the scorecards tilting slightly in Pennington’s favor, “Rocky” improved to 7-4 in the UFC and she broke a tie with Ronda Rousey for the second-most wins in UFC women’s bantamweight history, trailing only current champion Amanda Nunes (10).