Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 297, we are going to see a new women’s bantamweight champion crowned. Top contenders will battle it out for the vacant title as Brazil’s Mayra Bueno Silva (10-2-1, 1 NC) takes on “Rocky” Raquel Pennington (15-8).
Starting with Pennington, she has completely turned her career around. Back in 2020, she took on Holly Holm for a second time and lost a decision to the former champion. At that point in her career, she was 10-8. However, starting with her next fight, she would win five straight which has earned her this shot at the vacant title.
Bueno Silva also is on quite the winning streak. Bueno Silva was originally a flyweight but after having trouble making the weight, she decided to move up to 135. She won her first three fights and then she fought Holly Holm. She submitted Holm in the second round. However, the fight was ruled a No Contest after she tested positive for her prescribed ADHD medication.
Because of the nature of the positive test, the UFC didn’t punish her and is still giving her this shot at the vacant fight tomorrow night.
UFC 297 Prediction
I’m going to go right out and say it, this is not going to be a tremendously exciting fight. If you’re expecting this or have hopes for this being Irene Aldana – Karol Rosa, you’re going to be extremely disappointed. You’re going to see a lot of grappling and a lot of work from the clinch.
Both fighters are very good in their grappling. Pennington is very effective with cage pressure and using strikes in the clinch to score points. Bueno Silva is extremely dangerous with submissions and she can seemingly catch them from any position, just ask Holly Holm.
I see Pennington having success with controlling Bueno Silva throughout, but I think the Brazilian is going to find a way to get it done. In the third round, I think they’ll end up in a scramble where Bueno Silva will get Pennington’s back. She’ll lock in a choke and become UFC bantamweight champion.
Prediction: Mayra Bueno Silva by Submission – Round 3