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Raquel Pennington Breaks Silence on Sean Strickland’s Comments at UFC 297

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It wasn’t easy for Raquel
Pennington to share the
UFC 297 fight card with Sean
Strickland.

UFC 297 featured former middleweight champ Strickland against
Dricus Du
Plessis in the main event, while Pennington and Mayra
Bueno Silva co-headlined the card with the vacant women’s
bantamweight title on the line. Known for voicing his unfiltered
opinions on controversial topics, Strickland was true to brand in
the leadup to the card in Toronto.

“Tarzan” showed up to media day wearing a T-shirt that read “A
woman in every kitchen, a gun in every hand” and went on a rant
when a reporter asked him if he still stood by his previous
comments on LGBTQ+ topics. Pennington, who is gay and has a
daughter with fellow UFC fighter Tecia
Torres, certainly didn’t agree with Strickland but tried her
best to stay focused on her fight.

“At the end of the day, people are going to talk,” Pennington said
on The MMA Hour. “They’re always going to have their own
opinions. You’re allowed to have your own opinion, but at the end
of the day, you’re not going to affect my life. What you do with
your life doesn’t affect me. I just think it was disgusting on his
part to even be concerned about us as human beings and our
lifestyle, and just the comments he was making.”

Strickland also trashed women’s mixed martial arts in general, to
the ire of Pennington.

“MMA has grown a ton. The women are here. We’re here to stay. The
divisions are growing. You have tons of up-and-coming talent, so to
criticize female athletes, I don’t agree with any of that. But I
can’t control that, and that wasn’t my focus. My focus was to go
out there and accomplish my goal.

“Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] came in before the press
conference, and they asked me how I was doing with everything. It
was just one of those things; you take it as a grain of salt, and
you dish it out. It’s not going to affect what I’m doing here. At
the end of the day, you want to talk, but we’re still your co-main
event fight.”

While Strickland had no qualms voicing his thoughts in public,
Pennington claims he deliberately avoided personal interaction with
her.

“Every time he came around, we both turned the other direction. I
stared at him a couple times, and he would just turn the other
direction. He’s out there, he’s a great athlete, he’s selling his
fights, running his mouth, he’s being — freedom of speech, doing
whatever — but no, he didn’t say anything. Interesting character.”

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