Raquel Pennington interview – By Paul Jacob
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to get into professional mixed martial arts?
I’m 27 & I have been an athlete my whole life. I was always big into basketball, volleyball and softball. I broke my back snowboarding so got into MMA. I love spending time with family and friends. I love the outdoors hiking camping hunting fishing rock climbing etc. I grew up a tomboy and have always like to rough play.
Your fight nickname is “Rocky”, what made you settle on that?
My nickname came from being in sports nothing to do with fighting just what everyone calls me.
You were a cast member on the Ultimate Fighter, joining Team Tate, what was it like living in close quarters with the very people you were due to fight?
TUF was a cool experience, getting to bond with other fighters and seeing how they prepare for fights, eat, relax. Also learning who everyone was behind the face of a fighter was definitely a unique experience. It kinda made the fights easier, like sparring sessions at practice, since we all bonded.
When you are waiting in the back to go on for your fight and when you are standing in the Octagon waiting for the announcements to be made, what is running through your head?
I just mentally prepare telling myself another day in the office, that I’m prepared and I’m doing what I love so let all my hard work show. Time to shine.
After UFC 196, Nate Diaz is a name on everyone’s lips, he is a big advocate of the vegan lifestyle, which he feels helps him perform at his best, what sort of diet do you employ on a regular basis, is it something you change drastically in the lead up to a fight and how do you cope with the pressures of weight cutting?
I have my weight cut down to a science. I have only had two bad weight cuts and that was due to last minute fights. I enjoy food but I’m always eating clean though whether preparing for a fight or not.
I imagine that in Colorado you are something of a mini celebrity, how do you handle the trappings of fame?
Anywhere I go people know who I am & I enjoy interacting with people. I remember being that young girl who looked up to people and now I’m that person many people look up to, so I take the time out to share a piece of my attention with them.
A while back I saw on one of your social media feeds, I believe it was your Twitter, that you decided to go back through all your Facebook messages and Instagram / Twitter DM’s in order to respond to each and every one, dating back to 2011. What made you decide to do that and did you get a lot of positive feedback from it?
Your fans help build your career and the same way I inspire people, people inspire me sharing deep stories in their life. It’s an honor to be in my shoes and I love to interact with all my fans. When I have free time just relaxing its not hard to knock out the fan mail. I’m grateful to have amazing support and I wanna show it.
At UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs Evans , you will be fighting against Bethe Correia, how do you see the fight going and have you pinpointed any weaknesses?
I see my hand being raised in victory. I have learned a lot about myself as a fighter and believe I am the better fighter.
Bethe is coming off a brutal knock out to Ronda Rousey, so she will obviously have a point to prove. Do you worry about that or are you more focused on your game?
I am only focused on me and my game plan.
For the longest time, Alexis Davis was ranked number 3 in your division despite announcing her pregnancy. Is that something that bothered you or does the fact that both Holly Holm and Bethe Correia weren’t top ranked for their title shots make you not care about the rankings?
I don’t pay much attention to the rankings it all comes down to politics.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time or where do you hope to be?
I see myself having my own gym, being a coach and at the top in my career. The ultimate goal is to be the champion and nothing will stop me from getting there.
Quick Fire Questions
Mighty Mouse or Cejudo? Mighty Mouse.
Jedrzejczyk or Gadelha? Jedrzejczyk.
Tate or Rousey? Tate.
McGregor or Diaz? McGregor.
Who is your dream opponent and why? The division is still growing wouldn’t mind fighting everyone.
What is the best moment of your career? Best moment is when I chose to try out for TUF, it changed my life.
And the worst moment? Worst was getting the flu 2 days before the fight.
How will you celebrate if you win? I will celebrate with my family and friends just out having some drinks appreciating all the love and support
And finally, do you FeelTheTip?
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