Mayra Bueno Silva predicts 2nd-round knockout of Raquel Pennington: ‘She doesn’t have courage’

Mayra Bueno Silva plans to leave no doubt that she’s the best bantamweight in the world at when she fights at UFC 297.

The Brazilian standout takes on Raquel Pennington for a vacant 135-pound title in the Jan. 20 co-main event in Toronto, and she’s bristling with confidence ahead of her title opportunity. Based on how Pennington fared in her championship bout against Amanda Nunes at UFC 224, Silva isn’t expecting her to put up much of a fight.

During that May 2018 clash, Pennington could be heard on the broadcast telling her corner, “I’m done” heading into the fifth round of a fight that had been dominated by Nunes up to that point. Two and a half minutes into the final round, Nunes ended the contest via strikes.

“Do you remember Raquel fought with Amanda, Raquel said, ‘Alright, I’m done. I don’t want to fight anymore.’ Do you remember?” Silva said on The MMA Hour. “For this reason, she doesn’t want to fight. She doesn’t like to fight. She wants to hold [during] the fight because she doesn’t like fighting. Remember, when she was done, ‘I don’t want no more.’

“In the first round, when I punch her hard, she’ll talk again: ‘I don’t want to fight anymore.’”

Pennington lost two of her next three fights after the loss to Nunes, but has since bounced back with five consecutive victories. However, outside of a recent submission of Macy Chiasson, Pennington has gone to the cards more often than not; 10 of Pennington’s 15 career wins have come by way of decision.

It’s this grinding style that has Silva questioning Pennington’s resolve.

“I think she doesn’t want to fight,” Silva said. “She doesn’t have courage.

“She doesn’t like to fight. I like fighting, punching and takedowns. She likes to fight, but she likes to hold [in] fights. She doesn’t like to fight a clean fight. She likes more clinching and this thing, you know?”

If there’s one thing Silva knows, it’s how to finish, as evidenced by her seven career submission wins in 14 pro bouts. She is yet to lose when competing at 135 pounds and became just the third woman to finish Holly Holm when she beat the former bantamweight champion via second-round ninja choke this past July (that result has since been overturned due to Silva testing positive for a banned substance, which she attributes to prescribed ADHD medication).

Asked when she expects to land the knockout blow, Silva was clear in her vision.

“Second round,” she answered.

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