Raquel Pennington scoffs at Mayra Bueno Silva’s comments: ‘I don’t know who she thinks she is’

Raquel Pennington thinks Mayra Bueno Silva may be getting a little ahead of herself.

In the lead-up to UFC 297, Silva has not been shy to downplay her fight with Pennington and look ahead to a potential showdown with Julianna Peña. Pennington and Silva face off Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 297 with the vacant UFC bantamweight title on the line, however Silva made the surprising statement at her UFC 297 media day on Wednesday that the bout may not be very good “on paper.” When asked to expand on her thoughts, Silva argued that MMA fans would rather see her fight Peña for the belt than Pennington.

For Pennington, an 11-year UFC veteran whose first challenge for the bantamweight title came in 2018, the remarks coming from her Brazilian counterpart are laughable.

“I don’t know who she thinks she is right now,” Pennington said at UFC 297 media day. “I’ve been in this sport for a very long time. I’ve been in the top 10 for the majority of my career in the UFC. And for her to sit here [and talk trash] — they were trying to find another opponent because Julianna’s injured. It was supposed to be me and Julianna.

“So for her to think that it’s supposed to be her and Julianna — I love the world she’s living in, in her own mind, but she’s a little confused.”

Pennington, 35, is one of the longest tenured bantamweights in the UFC women’s division. The top-ranked veteran first entered the UFC as a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 18 in 2013, the same season infamously hosted by Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Pennington has since fought 17 times for the promotion, racking up 12 victories and defeating the likes of Tate, Jessica Andrade, Irene Aldana, Roxanne Modafferi, and most recently Ketlen Vieira.

Pennington even served as the back-up fighter for the most recent UFC bantamweight title bout between former two-time champion Amanda Nunes and Aldana. Nunes ultimately defeated Aldana to record her 11th win in a UFC title bout then retired, rendering the belt vacant and leaving Pennington as an obvious choice to compete for gold next.

All of which is say that Pennington has paid her dues, so when she hears Silva speak as she has with only three victories to her name as a UFC bantamweight, she just laughs.

“Listen, she’s a character. Right? All the things that she’s saying are really entertaining me,” Pennington said.

“At the end of the day, I feel like she’s talking all the crap, she’s trying to say all the things — sure, maybe the fans want to see her fight Julianna because they both yap a lot. They talk, and so everybody wants to see that. They love the entertainment portion. That’s just not who I am, and I think about the kids and the younger generations who look up to me, and it’s not about talking crap to each other and doing everything. At the end of the day, a fight is a fight. Our fists are going to do the talking, so I don’t feel the need to waste the extra energy.

“But you know what? She’s here now, so it is what it is.”

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