Exclusive: Raquel Pennington Reveals Targeted Return Date, Not Moving To Flyweight

In just over one year, Raquel Pennington went from a .500 fighter to a likely UFC title contender. A year later, she had that taken from her due to a hunting accident.

After wins over UFC title challengers Roxanne Modafferi, Jessica Andrade, Tonya Eviinger, Bethe Correia and Miesha Tate, Pennington took a year off before being slated to compete for the UFC Bantamweight Championship against Amanda Nunes.

Unfortunately, Pennington was injured in late October, and the planned fight was put on hold. While in Detroit supporting her fiancee Tecia Torres for UFC 218, she told Fightful.com's James Lynch how it all went down. 

"We were hunting all morning. We came down the mountain, and it was snowing. We turned a corner and our side-by-side rolled and my rifle was in between my legs so when I tried to jump out I couldn't completely clear it and the roll cage completely smashed the back of my leg," Pennington said.

While Pennington was planned for the December UFC 219 show, the injury could have very well ended her career. Pennington told Fightful.com that she's hoping to return to the cage next Spring.

"The doctors said that I lucked out. I avoided having drop foot. I avoided multiple breaks, which would have been a higher chance of amputation. I didn't tear anything,  but the way my calf looks you'd think I tore everything. They originally said 3-4 months, and I was supposed to be on crutches for six weeks. I'm doing everything I possibly can, I have a great group of doctors in my corner. I'm hoping soon. I think as far as being back in action, I'm hoping May," said Pennington.

With the new UFC 125 pound division, Pennington joked that the aforementioned amputation would be the only way she could compete there, because she walks around at 157 pounds.

Pennington's 9-5 record doesn't really tell the tale of her career. She also went 2-1 on The Ultimate Fighter, and 7-1 as an amateur fighter, putting her at 18-7 across all three. 

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