Daniel Cormier Laughs Hysterically as Co-Host Ryan Clark Shreds Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva

Cormier and Clark slammed Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva's lackluster performances at UFC 297.

Daniel Cormier
Courtesy of ESPN MMA on YouTube

Ryan Clark, co-host of ESPN’s DC&RC alongside UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, wants to see the women’s bantamweight division completely abolished after the lackluster title fight between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva. 

Stepping into the co-main event at UFC 297 to crown a new queen of the 135-pound division, Pennington and Bueno Silva delivered a title clash reminiscent of Namajunas vs. Esparza 2, which is considered to be one of if not the worst title fight in UFC history. Through five rounds, both women failed to show any semblance of fight IQ, game plan, or execution as they muddled their way through the 25-minute affair. 

In the end, Raquel Pennington secured a decisive unanimous decision victory, but her performance did nothing to excite fans for the future of the division. 

Speaking about the sleep-inducing title tilt, Ryan Clark delivered a scathing rant going so far as to say that if the UFC doesn’t bring back former two-division champ Amanda Nunes, they may as well close up the women’s bantamweight division altogether. 

Note that this was filmed before Dana White announced that two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison would make her promotional debut at UFC 300. 

“The UFC is going to have to make it worth it to Amanda Nunes,” Clark said. “Here’s my statement: There’s no way after watching Raquel Pennington win that championship you can’t find a way to make it worth it for Amanda Nunes. I respect all fighters, DC. And I love the fact that they have to grind to get where they were. That was an awful fight to watch.

“It looked like a fight between two people who got a gameplan and as they were walking to the Octagon, they said, ‘Eff the gameplan, I’m gonna do whatever the hell I want to do.’ It seemed like two people who knew good and dang well it’s no way they should be fighting for a championship.”

Daniel Cormier couldn’t help, but laugh as Clark continued to lay into the performance of Pennington and Bueno Silva. 

“If that is what’s going to be the highest level of the bantamweight division for the UFC, there should be a serious discussion of getting rid of it,” Clark continued. “We got an opportunity to see Julianna Pena not only fight well against [Nunes] but also submit her, take the belt. It built excitement for the next fight. When she has to back out of the trilogy, we see another fight where Amanda dominates.

“And now this is what we have because Julianna Pena could not perform. If this is what it’s gonna be DC, I’d rather you not put it on the card. That’s just my opinion. It’s not funny. I’m dead serious. I was sleepy and I had to watch that. I was trying to get to Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis.”

Daniel Cormier Was Frustrated by Raquel Pennington’s Lack of Killer Instinct

Once he was able to contain his laughter, Daniel Cormier offered a rebuttal suggesting that the much-maligned contest was not nearly as bad as Clark insists but admitted to being frustrated by Pennington’s total lack of killer instinct. 

“RC, I have to disagree with you,” Cormier said. “It wasn’t that bad and we can’t get rid of the division. What did stick out to me and what was a little bit upsetting is it seemed so clear what Raquel Pennington needed to do to end the fight in a resounding way. That’s what was frustrating to me.”

Cormier believes Pennington’s lack of interest in finishing Bueno Silva in the later rounds essentially gave former titleholder Julianna Pena a free pass to trash-talk the new champ until their inevitable showdown later this year. 
“Pennington could have gone out there and finished her and that would have made more of an impression on people. And then people wouldn’t want to be hoping for Amanda Nunes to come back or Julianna [Pena] wouldn’t be so vocal now. You’ve essentially allowed Julianna to run her mouth freely because of the way you fought in that fight and not finishing Mayra Bueno Silva.” 
Watch the full episode below:
Published on January 24, 2024 at 9:03 pm
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