Raquel Len Pennington was born on September 5, 1988 is an American mixed martial artist who competes in Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight division. She has previously fought for Invicta Fighting Championships.
Pennington grew up playing many sports from basketball, softball, volleyball, running cross country, to always wanting to box. She graduated from Harrison High School (Colorado Springs) in 2007 as secretary of the National Honors Society.
Pennington started training in martial arts at the age of 19, though initially her parents would not let her fight. She fought in amateur MMA from 2009 to 2011.
Pennington made her Invicta Fighting Championships promotional debut against future The Ultimate Fighter team mate Sarah Moras in July 2012 at Invicta FC 2. She won via unanimous decision.
Her next two fights for the promotion were both losses; one to Cat Zingano at Invicta FC 3 and one to Leslie Smith at Invicta FC 4.
Pennington made her promotional debut against TUF 18 team mate Roxanne Modafferi on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. She won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
For her second fight with the promotion, Pennington replaced an injured Julianna Peña against Jéssica Andrade in March 2014 at UFC 171. She lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.
Pennington was scheduled to face Holly Holm at UFC 181 in December 2014. However, Holm pulled out of the fight in mid-November, citing a neck injury. Holm was replaced by UFC newcomer Ashlee Evans-Smith. Pennington won the fight via technical submission due to a bulldog choke at the end of the first round. She became the 4th fighter in UFC history to finish a fight with that move.
Pennington fought Holly Holm at UFC 184 in February 2015, a bout that was originally supposed to take place at UFC 181. She lost the fight via split decision.
Pennington was set to take on Liz Carmouche at UFC 191. Carmouche was then replaced by former opponent Jéssica Andrade. Pennington won the fight by submission in the second round.
Pennington is scheduled to face Amanda Nunes on May 12, 2018 at UFC 224.