Raquel Pennington, the current #5 ranked fighter in the official UFC Women’s Bantamweight rankings, underwent successful shoulder surgery on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Pennington also confirmed in the comments on her original Instagram post which can be seen above that she fought with this shoulder injury at UFC 205 where the Bantamweight fighter put on a spectacular performance beating the then #2 ranked Miesha Tate, who also subsequently retired after the loss.
The UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion herself, Amanda Nunes, commented and told Raquel to “Have a good recovery.” UFC Women’s Strawweight and Raquel’s girlfriend Tecia Torres was also by her side.
So what’s next for the Women’s Bantamweight Division?
With the #1 ranked Valentina Shevchenko (13-2) taking on the #2 ranked Julianna Pena (8-2) in a Main Event clash on January 28, 2017 and Pennington likely sidelined for close to 9 months before returning. What’s next for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Division?
#3 ranked Holly Holm is moving to 145, as is #10 ranked Germaine de Randamie who Holm is facing for the newly created Women’s Featherweight Division Championship at UFC 208 on February 11, 2017.
#3 ranked Ronda Rousey very well may retire, or have an extended layoff so her place in the rankings and title contention is very vague. That leaves #6 Cat Zingano, #7 Sara McMann, #8 Liz Carmouche, and #9 Bethe Correia.
Will Nunes face the winner of Shevchenko vs. Pena or will she take on a current fighter outside of the Top 5? McMann has won her last two fights, including a Performance of the Night on December 3rd vs. Alexis Davis at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale. Despite Zingano’s win over the champ Nunes in September of 2014, Cat is 0-2 in her last two bouts so a title fight seems unlikely before she gets back into the win column. Carmouche is also 2-0 in her last two Octagon appearances, but with McMann beating Davis, and Carmouche previously losing to Davis in addition to being below in the rankings, it also seems unlikely that Girl-Rilla will get her crack at the title next. Correia got back to her winning ways after suffering the first loss of her career to Rousey then losing a split-decision to Raquel Pennington in April 2016.
Champion : Amanda Nunes
1. Valentina Shevchenko
2. Julianna Pena
3. Holly Holm
4. Ronda Rousey
5. Raquel Pennington
6. Cat Zingano
7. Sara McMann
8. Liz Carmouche
9. Bethe Correia
10. Germaine de Randamie
11. Ashlee Evans-Smith
12. Alexis Davis
13. Marion Reneau
14. Jessica Eye
15. Leslie Smith