When Ashlee Evans-Smith made her UFC debut in December 2014, it did not go as planned. The former CFA tournament champion was submitted by Raquel “Rocky” Pennington at 4:59 in the first round of their fight.
Pennington locked in a bulldog choke at UFC 181 that left Evans-Smith bleeding. The added stinger was Evans-Smith tested positive for a diuretic and was issued a nine-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Almost two years have passed and Evans-Smith is coming off a third-round TKO finish over Veronica Macedo, who was making her octagon debut, yesterday afternoon. Now she’s got her sights set on a rematch with Pennington.
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During an interview with MMA Junkie, Evans-Smith said a rematch with Pennington is first on her list.
“She is on a good winning streak, and who am I to say, give me a higher-ranked opponent, since I’m only 13 (in the promotion’s rankings),” Evans-Smith said. “But yeah, I’ll say it: I would like to fight Raquel Pennington again.”
After her win over Evans-Smith, Pennington’s dropped a split-decision to Holly Holm in the former titleholder’s Octagon debut. She followed it up with a second-round submission win over Jessica Andrade – earning her first “Performance of the Night” bonus – then earned decision wins over Bethe Correia and Elizabeth Phillips.
Evans-Smith captured her first Octagon victory in February when she defeated Marion Reneau. Before the UFC, Evans-Smith won her first three fights, including winning the CFA women’s featherweight tournament – defeating Fallon Fox in the finals – and third-round finish over Marceia Allen in World Series of Fighting.
As for an Evans-Smith vs. Pennington II happening, it might be down the road if the former CFA champion can pick up another win or two – or if Rocky loses a fight. Evans-Smith is hovering on the outside of That said, the UFC likes to pride themselves on giving fighters opportunities if they want them – in this case Evans-Smith wanting to face Pennington again.