More than seven months after Amanda Nunes announced her retirement from MMA, a new women’s bantamweight champion will be crowned by the UFC.
Streaking contenders Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva are slated to clash in a vacant 135-pound championship fight at UFC 297, which takes place Jan. 20 and is expected to go down at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, though the location has not been officially announced.
Multiple people with knowledge of the situation verified the booking to MMA Junkie following an initial report from Ag Fight. The people requested anonymity because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Pennington (15-8 MMA, 12-5 UFC) has been a staple of the weight class since its inception. Her fight at UFC 297 will mark her 17th women’s bantamweight appearance, the most in divisional history. Her current five-fight winning streak is the best run of that tenure, and she will look to make good on her second chance at gold after taking a lopsided beating from Nunes in her initial opportunity at UFC 224 in May 2018.
Looking to deny Pennington will be Brazil’s Bueno Silva (10-2-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC), who is unbeaten in her past four fights. She’s proven to be a dangerous finisher inside the octagon, and although her most recent submission win over Holly Holm was overturned due to a drug testing issue that resulted in a short suspension, it was evident in that fight that Bueno Silva was prepared for the top level.