Dudieva Out, Holly Holm Meets Raquel Pennington At UFC 181A planned bout against Milana Dudieva failed to come to fruition, but former top-ranked boxer Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm will still make her Octagon debut on December 6th at UFC 181: “Hendricks vs Lawler 2” in Las Vegas, Nevada. Holm now meets TUF 18 alum Raquel “Rocky” Pennington.

UFC officials announced the bantamweight fight on Friday. Holm has yet to taste defeat in her mixed martial arts career and she has knocked out six of her seven foes. Pennington rose to prominence during a stint with Invicta FC and her time on TUF 18, and looks to rebound from a close loss in March.

Holm (7-0-0) enters her December UFC debut with a considerable amount of hype behind her, but also with some added pressure as one of few remaining top contenders for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship that is currently held by unbeaten judoka “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Holm kicked off her MMA career in March 2011 and stopped five straight opponents before picking up a lopsided Unanimous Decision win over Angela Hayes this past December. She returned to action in April and finished fellow striker Juliana “Julie” Werner in the fifth round to claim the Legacy FC women’s bantamweight title.

Pennington (4-4-0) followed up on a stellar 7-1 amateur career by winning three of her first four pro bouts in 2012. She made two appearances for Invicta FC, but suffered defeats against upcoming UFC title challenger “Alpha” Cat Zingano and Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith in action-packed fights. This past year, Pennington joined The Ultimate Fighter 18 cast and advanced to the semi-finals before losing to runner-up Jessica “The Ragin'” Rakoczy. She defeated Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi at the TUF 18 Finale and recently dropped a Split Decision to Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade at UFC 171.

UFC 181: “Hendricks vs Lawler 2” takes place on December 6th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a UFC Welterweight Championship rematch between Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.


  1. Cherrypicking opponents anyone? Not saying it’s Holly, but the UFC seemingly wants to protect her.

    Germaine de Randamie twitted that this is a fight that she wanted. Makes much more sense than Dudieva or Pennington.

  2. I guess you didn’t see Holms last few opponents how or these fights considered cherry picking if she has yet to fight anybody close to pennington & dudiva level. I guarantee you dudiva & pennington would beat de randame she has no takedown defense & she barely beat kedsie,

  3. Hey Guys, wow I didn’t know de Randamie called out Holm. Technically that would be an unbelievably great matchup because we would see the boxing world champion go toe-to-toe against a kickboxing world champion. All highest level striking. But I see why the UFC didn’t want that matchup — de Randamie would stand too good of a chance of winning. But no one knows de Randamie, and she lost quickly and rather easily to Nunes, so de Randamie has no real stock with MMA fans. Just too much for the UFC to risk in Holly’s first fight.

    I believe Pennington also has a good shot at beating Holm, but at least if Pennington wins, Holm would have lost to someone with at least some name recognition.

    Hey, any thoughts on the Rousey-Zingano fight?

  4. Like I said before (and I know everyone is thinking the same), Ronda comes out of the gate too, too quick for Zingano. Cat is the ‘Carl Lewis’ of MMA but…no one was punching Carl as he exited the blocks.
    Ronda…first round finish unless…she makes the same mistake as her roomie and tries to showcase her standup!!
    Marina…all you had to do is stick with what you know and you wpuld be fighting at Invicta 9!!!

  5. Of course I’ve seen Holly’s fights, and she has yet to face a dangerous opponent…

    The thing is Pennington loves to stand up, and there’s no way she beats Holly Holm on her feet, unless there’s some serious wall’n’stall.

  6. Agreed that Cat will be steamrolled by Rousey… sadly.