Raquel Pennington believes Kayla Harrison will be “exposed” in UFC debut: “She has huge hype following her”

By Josh Evanoff - January 31, 2024

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Raquel Pennington believes that Kayla Harrison will be exposed in April.

Raquel Pennington

Earlier this month, Dana White announced that the Judoka had finally signed with the UFC. For the former two-time PFL tournament winner, the move was one long in the making. In April, Kayla Harrison will compete in the milestone UFC 300 event, against former champion Holly Holm.

While the bout hasn’t been labeled such, one has to figure out the fight is a title eliminator. ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ herself has stated such as well. It’s worth noting that the women’s bantamweight division recently crowned a new champion in the form of Raquel Pennington. ‘Rocky’ welcomes the potential challenge from either, Kayla Harrison, or Holly Holm.

However, Raquel Pennington isn’t so sure that she’ll get the opportunity to face Kayla Harrison. Speaking in a recent interview with SiriusXM’s Unlocking The Cage, the newly crowned champion previewed the UFC 300 matchup. There, Pennington predicted that Harrison would be somewhat exposed by Holly Holm in April.

The women’s bantamweight champion opined that Kayla Harrison hadn’t been tested in her PFL stint either. However, Raquel Pennington added that she’s also concerned about the Judoka dropping down to bantamweight. The lowest Harrison has competed in her career thus far, is 145 pounds. Although, she doesn’t think the weight cut will be an issue.

Raquel Pennington, Mayra Bueno Silva, UFC 297, Results, Pros react

Raquel Pennington previews UFC 300 matchup between Kayla Harrison and Holly Holm

“I was wondering if she was ever going to sign to the UFC,” Raquel Pennington responded to a question about Kayla Harrison joining the UFC bantamweight division. “I know there’s been a lot of talk throughout the years and stuff. But she’s been successful in the PFL. I think my biggest question honestly is how is she going to make the weight? I mean, she’s a very dense chick. There’s no denying that. I feel as far as coming into the UFC, you know, a lot of athletes, they haven’t truly been challenged.”

She continued, “I feel like she hasn’t truly been challenged in the PFL. So, to now come in, and have this platform, I think that’s going to give her a run for her money for sure. She has a huge hype following her and whatnot, but I think that she’s going to be exposed a little bit. But, first and foremost, the hardest part of this is making the weight. So, it starts there.”

“…I feel like if Holly actually brings back the Holly that first came into the UFC and strikes with Kayla” Raquel Pennington concluded. “It’s not going to go Kayla’s way.”

The UFC 300 bout between Kayla Harrison and Holly Holm is expected to serve as one of the main attractions of the milestone event. Other announced bouts as of now include Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway, and Weili Zhang vs. Yan Xiaonan.

What do you make of these comments about Kayla Harrison? Do you agree with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Raquel Pennington?