UFC 202 Breakdown: Raquel Pennington vs Elizabeth Phillips

Raquel-PenningtonPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at a match-up in the women’s bantamweight division at Elizabeth Phillips takes on eight ranked Raquel Pennington at UFC 202 in Las Vegas, Nevada.   Raquel Pennington (Record: 7-5, -260 Favorite, Fighter Grade: C+) An Ultimate Fighter Season 18 semifinalist, Raquel Pennington was one of the first female fighters signed to the UFC. In the three years she’s been in the organization, she’s fought six times in the UFC amassing a 4-2 record. She’s been in the best form of her career winning her last two fights submitting Jessica Andrade and winning a decision over Bethe Correia. A high school sports standout, Pennington was a well-rounded athlete before getting her start training in MMA at 19 years of age. Pennington has a balanced skill set. She averages 4.31 significant strikes per minute in the cage and successfully scoring on 49% of those strikes. She does well to combine punches and kicks for a varied striking attack. Her wrestling ability is underrated having scored takedowns in four of her six UFC bouts. While Pennington is no stranger to a good stand up exchange, perhaps where she is most dangerous is in transitions in and out of the clinch. She does extremely well to find the neck and work in submission attempts. She’s gotten both Jessica Andrade and Ashlee Evans-Smith in that fashion. Pennington, at times, can be a bit stagnant at times in the standing exchanges allowing her opponent back into rounds. Otherwise, she’s a very capable of fighter and probably a bit underrated against comparable competition.   Elizabeth Phillips (Record: 5-3, +220 Underdog, Fighter Grade: D) The Spokane, Washington based fighter has been fighting professionally for four years. She’s fought three times in the UFC losing twice by split decision. Her lone win was in her last outing against Jessamyn Duke. Phillips turns 30 years old the day of UFC 202. Phillips is still rather new to the sport of mixed martial arts. She’s a decent athlete and has the size to be able to compete in this division. The best part of her game is aggression and throwing power punches albeit without much technical ability. She lands over three significant strikes a minute in the cage, but she’s only landing at a 33% clip; a rather low percentage in the UFC. She’s certainly towards the bottom of the division and has yet to show she’s capable of beating anyone who’s able to hold a position in the UFC. Every step up in competition has resulted in a loss.   Matchup A match-up in the women’s bantamweight division sees Elizabeth Phillips taking on her biggest test to date in Raquel Pennington. Phillips will need to use her athleticism in this fight and connect on big punches if she is to win. Pennington has all the advantage in all the technical aspects: striking, wrestling, and grappling. Furthermore, Pennington has competed against a much higher level of competition and has even beaten quality opposition. It’s difficult to see Phillips being able to outstrike Pennington given her higher output overall. I expect Pennington to get the better of the striking and ultimately finding a way to Phillips neck to sync in a submission to get another stoppage win inside the octagon. Pennington by submission (+500) is certainly the prop to play on this card. Furthermore, Pennington is a solid parlay piece at -260. Her advantages in nearly every aspect of the fight make her one of the most likely winners on this fight card.

Written by Jay Primetown

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