A Battle for the Vacant Throne: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Showdown
Setting the Stage for UFC 297
The UFC world is buzzing with anticipation as the once-vacant women’s bantamweight title, previously held by Amanda Nunes, is slated to find its new champion. Fans around the globe are eagerly marking their calendars for UFC 297, coming this January 2024.
It’s a twist many didn’t see coming, as former titleholder Julianna Pena, who proudly sits at the peak of the rankings, will not be vying for the championship. Instead, the competition for the coveted 135-pound title will see No.2-ranked Raquel Pennington clashing with No.3 seed Mayra Bueno Silva.
Ringing the Bell at Scotiabank Arena?
While the official arena for this colossal pay-per-view showdown remains undisclosed, there are whispers in the MMA community suggesting that the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, might roll out the welcome mat.
Into the Corner of Raquel Pennington
Pennington’s impressive MMA journey showcases a 15-8 record. Her current momentum, fueled by a five-bout winning streak, has been the talk of the town. Her recent triumph against Ketlen Viera by split decision further solidifies her reputation. The seasoned fighter’s resume boasts victories against formidable opponents like Irene Aldana, ex-champion Meisha Tate, and the seasoned Marion Reneau.
TITLE FIGHT CONFIRMED IN 2024
Raquel Pennington vs Mayra Bueno Silva
January 20 | #UFC297 | 135 lbs
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) November 3, 2023
Mayra ‘Sheetara’ Bueno Silva’s Path to UFC 297
On the other side of the Octagon stands Silva, a formidable fighter with a pro-MMA record of 10-2-1, including one no-contest. ‘Sheetara’ is riding high on a four-fight undefeated wave. However, her journey was recently marred with controversy. Following her bout against Holly Holms, a failed drug test transformed her submission win into a no-contest verdict. This mishap led to Silva bearing the weight of a four-and-a-half-month suspension and a hefty $11,250 penalty, equating to 15% of her fight earnings.
A Title Shot Controversy
With the stage almost set for Silva and Pennington to battle for the title, there was chatter about a potential title face-off between Pennington and the ex-champ, Pena.
Silva made her stand clear during a conversation with The Schmo. Expressing her disagreement with the potential Pennington vs. Pena match-up, she firmly stated:
“I believe Raquel [versus] Julianna, nobody wants to see that fight. I believe I’m [a] new face. I have everything the UFC needs in this moment. If UFC doesn’t put me for the fight for the belt, it’ll be a big mistake… [I’m] ready now.”
The aforementioned sentiments can be further explored in Mayra Bueno Silva’s interview, timestamped at 2:17.
Anticipation Peaks for the Grand Showdown
With the stage nearly set and both fighters gearing up, fans are eagerly waiting for the announcement of the venue and the final confirmations. The upcoming UFC 297 promises to be a thrilling spectacle, with two of the best in the business ready to leave it all in the Octagon.