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Jessica Penne out of UFC Vegas 61 due to illness

MMA: AUG 07 UFC 265
Jessica Penne
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jessica Penne’s UFC run has hit another bump in the road.

At the start of Friday’s official weigh-ins for UFC Vegas 61, commentator Jon Anik announced that the 16-year veteran has been forced to withdraw from Saturday’s strawweight bout with Tabatha Ricci due to an illness.

MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck spoke to Penne’s manager, who clarified that her illness is not related to a weight cut:

“She came to fight week not feeling good and tried to fight through it but as the week progressed her symptoms got worse and the doctor told her she has bronchitis. She’s in the clinic now getting a final diagnosis.”

Penne later took to social media to elaborate on the unfortunate situation.

“As the week went on my symptoms got worse and last night during the final weight cut I was just not able to push through,” Penne wrote. “I want to apologize to [Ricci.] I know wha tit takes to go through a camp and am very disappointed as well. I hope we can get rebooked in the next couple weeks.”

It is not yet known if the bout will be rescheduled or if the fighters will receive new opponents for their next assignments.

Penne, a one-time UFC title challenger, has seen multiple cancellations and opponent changes over the past two years, including withdrawing from two recent bookings against Luana Pinheiro. In her most recent fight at UFC on ABC 3 this past July, she lost a unanimous decision to Emily Ducote, who was a replacement for Brianna Fortino.

Ricci was seeking her second win of 2022 and third straight overall. “Baby Shark” is coming off of back-to-back wins over Polyana Viana and Maria Oliveira.

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