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Raquel Pennington is an American UFC fighter who fights under the bantamweight division. She made her professional debut in March 2012 and has gone on to stage an incredible career. She went on about a year’s break but returned in 2018 to fight at the UFC 224 in a highly publicized match against Amanda Nunes which became the first event in UFC history to involve two openly gay fighters. Her accomplishments include The Ultimate Fighter 18 Fight of the Season vs. Jessamyn Duke, and Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Jéssica Andrade. We take you through the highlights of her personal life.
Raquel Pennington Parents
There is not much information available to the general public regarding Raquel Pennington’s parents, however, her mother’s name is known to be Rose Pennington. Pennington has severally talked about how much her parents never wanted her to ever box with reasons that she was too cute. Nevertheless, it remained part of her dreams which she pursued slowly.
While her parents banned her from boxing, she was allowed to do other sports, so Pennington grew up playing basketball, softball, volleyball, running cross country. However, she couldn’t just let go of her love for boxing. A teenage Pennington had a friend whose father was a pro boxer and anytime she’d visit her, she would take some time to box on the punching bag that her friend’s dad had hanging in the basement.
Initially, without the knowledge of her parents, Raquel Pennington continued feeding her passion for the sports by enroling in a kickboxing class at a local gym. Eventually, her parents would come to find out and soon began supporting her dreams of becoming a pro athlete.
When she was called up for the “The Ultimate Fighter 18” in 2013 it was her mom who drove her all night from Colorado Springs to Las Vegas so she could make it in time for the show.
Raquel Pennington is one of the many openly gay women fighting in the UFC. Since 2016, she has been in a relationship with fellow UFC fighter, Tecia Torres who fights in the strawweight division. Pennington met her during her early days as a pro-MMA fighter with the Invicta Fighting Championships. They had been friends for a while, a period when they nurtured a mutual attraction for each other. By 2016, the pair decided to start dating officially.
AKA the “The Tiny Tornado,” Pennington’s partner is of Puerto Rican descent and was born on the 16th of August, 1989 in Fall River, Massachusetts.
She began pursuing her passion for martial arts from the age of 3, beginning with taekwondo. At the age of 15, Torres had earned a black belt in taekwondo following 12 years of practice. As with most taekwondo fighters, Pennington’s partner also practiced Muay Thai. Torres has a black belt in Karate as well as a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
She had an amazing amateur career, becoming a 4-time world kickboxing champ and 3-time amateur MMA champion. She finished her amateur career rated at number 1 after turning pro in 2014, two years after Pennington had also gone pro.
Torres isn’t only a woman with physical strength but also intellectual power. At 20 years old, in 2010, she earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. While soaring high in the UFC, Torres didn’t ignore her education as she returned to the school to study for a masters in Criminology, graduating in 2017.
With her degrees in Criminology, Torres hopes to work in law enforcement when her UFC career is over.
Pennington in 2017 proposed to Torres and she said yes after which they took to their respective Instagram accounts to share the news. They live together in Colorado, Pennington’s hometown.
Pennington is more than just a lover to Torres as she is actively involved in her fighting career as her coach. The two train together at the Triple Threat Gym in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They have revealed to the media that they have a healthy competitive fire and keep inspiring each other. They each fight in different weight classes, thus, the chances of them ever fighting each other is less than zero.
Raquel Pennington aka Rocky, according to her official profile on the UFC website, stands at a height of 5 feet 11 inches (1.7 m). She weighs 135 lb (61 kg).