Raquel Pennington will weigh in as the backup fighter at UFC 289.
The UFC is making a much-anticipated return to Canada with the upcoming UFC 289 fight card. They have not been to Canada since before the COVID-19 pandemic. This card will take place on June 10 in Vancouver and already has had a few alterations. The event was scheduled to be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and former champion Julianna Pena. This was to be the third meeting between them and the deciding fight in the trilogy. However, now there is a new plan.
Pena was forced out of the bout with an injury and has been replaced by Irene Aldana. With a short-notice replacement already on hand, the UFC is making sure that nothing else can derail this Canadian homecoming by contracting an alternate. That fighter will be Raquel Pennington.
Raquel Pennington will weigh in as the backup for Nunes vs. Aldana
Originally the plan was for Pennington and Aldana to face each other as the main event of the Fight Night card on May 20. When Pena was removed from the UFC 289 card and Aldana was slotted in that blew up that plan. Instead of leaving Pennington on the card with another opponent, Dana White is giving her the opportunity to be the backup fighter at UFC 289.
“So what we would do now is, first of all love the Irene Aldana fight, you know again for us to be able to move so quickly and get another fight in there, press conference tomorrow she’ll be here,” White told The Schmo. “Raquel Pennington will be the backup on that card so she’ll, train, cut, and make weight and if anything happens to either one of the girls she’ll step in.”
Pennington last fought in January when she defeated Ketlen Vieira by split decision. The proposed fight with Aldana was a rematch, Pennington won the first meeting back in 2019. She has also faced Nunes before as well, she lost her first and only title shot against Nunes in 2018.