Raquel Pennington releases UFC 246 statement: ‘I wanted to fight, not be hugged’

Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

There was no hiding Raquel Pennington’s disappointment after her second loss to Holly Holm in a rematch at UFC 246. There was also a strong hint of bitterness in her post-fight assessment.

In her first statement since a unanimous decision loss to ex-champ Holm at this past Saturday’s pay-per-view event, Pennington took a sideways shot at her opponent’s use of the clinch over three rounds.

“I wanted to fight not be hugged the whole time but that’s the fight game for you,” she wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday.

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Well it was not the fight I wanted after waiting 5 years. I wanted to fight not be hugged the whole time but that’s the fight game for you. Regardless I’m always thankful for my team, coaches, fiancée, family, friends, and true fans. ❤️ #ontothenextone #TeamRocky #headheldhigh

A post shared by Raquel Pennington (@raquel_pennington) on

Holm took the fight by two scores of 30-27 and 29-28, putting her back in the win column after a knockout loss to current two-division champ Amanda Nunes. Pennington’s loss left her at 1-3 in her past four outings, including a stoppage loss to Nunes for the bantamweight belt.

Pennington also vented to the Colorado Springs Gazette, saying she was “pissed and frustrated” by the fight.

“This is a fight I’ve been waiting for for five years and this girl stalled and hugged me the whole time,” she said. “She didn’t even want to fight me.”

Afterward, UFC President Dana White opined that Pennington wouldn’t “let her hands go” in the octagon. He also criticized referee Jason Herzog for not separating the fighters more frequently That strategy was certainly hindered by Holm, but Pennington also initiated the clinch late in the third round after her corner advised her to strike with the ex-champ.

Holm also expressed disappointment in the bout’s action, but ultimately said she didn’t listen to critics who booed the fight.

“At the end of the day, I know that I want to go back and go, you know what, I could have done this better, or done that better. I could have done more. I already know what I want to do, and I don’t do this job for anybody. I do it for myself. I try to make the people around me proud of me. I want to make them proud. I love that I have fans, and I always want to give them the best show I can. Sometimes, I fall short of that. It just keeps me driven to want to move forward and keep getting better.”

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