One of the main criticisms behind former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey’s 48 second TKO loss at UFC 207 was her perceived ineptitude in the striking department.
Raquel Pennington, who is a top 10 female bantamweight in the UFC, sparred with Rousey before UFC 207, but can't talk about it too much.
“I actually talked to Ronda the night of the weigh-ins in New York [before UFC 205],” Pennington said to ESPN. “I bumped into Ronda and she asked if she could contact me and bring me out for some work. I've been out to Los Angeles to see her and [teammate] Shayna Baszler before. A lot of us are friends outside the Octagon. I'm always up for challenges. Everybody brings something new to the table. It was definitely a solid experience. I can't really talk about how sparring went or what we did. Ronda asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I did. All I can say is the fact I was able to put in work with her and that it was solid work. I can't say too much more than that.”
Pennington also underwent surgery to repair a torn bicep, something that will keep her out of the octagon for much of 2017.
“Everything went well,” Pennington said. “They thought it was a torn labrum, but when the doctor went inside it ended up being a torn bicep. They had to cut the bicep and anchor it to my bone. They also cleaned up my rotator cuff and labrum while they were in there. The recovery and everything is the same, with it being a torn bicep. It's just going to take some time to heal. They've told me six to nine months. In six months, I should be back on the mats, full blown.”
Pennington hasn’t competed since UFC 205, where she defeated former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate by unanimous decision.