The Full Story: Raquel Pennington

“Two weeks before the fight with Miesha, I tore my shoulder and my bicep,” recalls Pennington, whose effort in New York City looks even sharper given the physical issues she was dealing with at the time. In addition to shoulder surgery, Pennington had issues with her wrist and mouth addressed, as well.

“For me, I was like, ‘If I’m going under, let’s knock them all out.’ It sounded like a great idea. I was like, ‘My right side is going to be all jacked up, but I’m gonna be in the gym, training my left side,’ but it didn’t turn out that way. The doctor was like, ‘If you strain that side, you’re gonna mess up the other side and everything that we did.’”

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Rather than being able to stay in the gym working on her conditioning and strengthening her left side, Pennington was forced to the sidelines, a challenging situation made tougher by watching her then-girlfriend, now wife, UFC strawweight contender Tecia Torres continue to compete.

“It took a toll on me,” admits Pennington. “I had to lay around, do nothing. I’m watching everybody else, I’m trying to be in the gym; Tecia had a real active career at that time. I was with her, but it was hard because I couldn’t be there. I wanted to just be myself.”

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