Following a hard-fought split decision victory in her last outing, Penne looked better than ever on Saturday night after engaging in a ground battle with fellow former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Once the fight hit the floor, Penne was constantly looking for submissions, which eventually set up the armbar.
Despite a valiant effort from Kowalkiewicz to break free, Penne eventually extended the arm and left the Polish strawweight with no other option than to tap out or risk serious injury.
The end of the fight came at just 4:32 in the first round.
“I love the ground,” Penne said about her submission win. “If anybody wants to go to the ground with me, I invite it. I’ve always admired and respected her. I’m so grateful to grace the octagon with her.”
Known for her grappling game, Penne obviously welcomed the chance to hit the mat but Kowalkiewicz seemed more than willing to engage her there, which backfired once the strawweights were locked in a scramble.
As soon as Penne saw the opening for the armbar, she latched onto her opponent’s limb and started pulling with all her might in order to lock up the submission. For a moment it appeared that perhaps Kowalkiewicz would slip free but Penne continued to make adjustments until she finally got the arm extended.
With her elbow compromised as Penne torqued on the arm, Kowalkiewicz was delayed momentarily from giving into the submission but she ultimately had no other choice.
Following a three-fight losing streak and the long layoff due mostly to a battle with the United States Anti-Doping Agency over punishment for a positive drug test, Penne is now celebrating back-to-back wins while also pulling off her first finish inside the octagon.
“I’m so happy to be here,” Penne said. “I thought I’d never be here again. So I want to make the most out of every opportunity that I have.”