Raquel Pennington is in position to give Amanda Nunes her stiffest challenge to date. It is a point that Pennington looks to prove tonight as she challenges for Nunes' women's bantamweight title at UFC 224.
Raquel Pennington is an underdog in the eyes of most. Only one of 15 people took Raquel Pennington over Amanda Nunes in MMA Junkies poll.
The belief that Raquel Pennington could be Amanda Nunes' toughest foe is not a slight to Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Valentina Shevchenko. Each of Nunes' most recent opponents had a knock against them.
In the case of Miesha Tate, the former champion was much slower and less powerful than Amanda Nunes. Tate was also on the downside of her career.
Ronda Rousey was coming off a long layoff when she fought Nunes. That layoff was due to a brutal loss to Holly Holm. Some questioned whether or not Rousey should have fought a tune-up fight first in order get her bearings first. Rousey was not ready for Amanda Nunes
Valentina Shevchenko was ready for Amanda Nunes, but she is considered better suited to fight as a flyweight. Shevchenko fought Nunes, knowingly giving up some size, and she was overpowered. Versus Raquel Pennington, Amanda Nunes will have no such advantages.