UFC 273 Preview

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UFC 273 is coming up on April ninth. The UFC packed the main card with some amazing fights with some of MMA’s biggest names and rising stars. Fight Fans are going to love this amazing card after some of the more mediocre cards at the beginning of the year. The first bout of note is between women’s Strawweight fighters in a classic Grappler vs Striker matchup between Mackenzie Dern and Tecia Torres. The next fight of note will be between Russian born Wrestler Khamzat Chimaev and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Gilbert Burns. The card will be topped off by two title fights.

Dern vs. Torres is the first fight fans will like on the main card. Dern is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt who sports an impressive 11-2 record in the Strawweight division.  In her last outing she didn’t come away with a win against Marina Rodriguez, but before that was riding a four fight win streak with wins against Randa Markos, Virna Jandiroba, and Nina Nunes. She hopes to get back into the win Column when she faces off against striking expert Torres. Torres is a Black Belt in Karate and Jhoon-Rhee Taekwondo. She is riding a three fight win streak with wins over Brianna Van Buren, Sam Hughes, and Angela Hill.  This is an awesome matchup I think fans will enjoy.

Chamiev has been taking the MMA world by storm. The Undefeated Russian born fighter has both striking and wrestling skills and has been compared to greats like Khabib Nurmogamedov and Jon Jones. He will really be tested when he faces off against Gilbert Burns who is one of the best Welterweights in the world who’s grappling is through the roof. Burns has an impressive 20-4 record with a win in his last outing when he fought against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Burn’s only loss in the last four years was to current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. This is a fight I think fans will love.

The card will be topped off by two title fights; the first one is a matchup between Russian Bantamweight Petr Yan and American grappling ace Aljamain Sterling. These two met last year and Sterling walked away with the title after Yan landed an illegal knee that lead to a disqualification. The pair don’t like each other and have been trading verbal barbs online.  The final title fight will be between Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and The Korean Zombie. Volkanovski is coming off a win against Brian Ortega and is riding a 20 fight win streak including two successful title defenses. The Korean Zombie is coming off a win against Dan Ige and was a fill in for Featherweight legend Max Holloway.

UFC 273 is an awesome card with some amazing fights. The PPV will be available for purchase on ESPN+

Fighter Profile: Raquel Pennington

Raquel Pennington has been banned for six-months after reporting herself to drug testers
Photo Credit: Mike Roach

Women’s MMA veteran Raquel Pennington made her return to the UFC Octagon in December at the UFC Apex when she faced off against Macy Chiasson and won by Submission (Guillotine Choke.) Pennington who has been fighting now for 13 years has strung together a three fight win streak and is currently ranked 7th in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division one of the most stacked divisions in all of MMA.

Pennington was born September 5, 1988 in Colorado Springs, CO. Growing up she played many sports and wanted to box. Harrison High School in 2007 as secretary of the National Honor Society. She’d then go on to college to study medicine, but would not play sports at the collegiate level due to breaking her back while snowboarding. She’d start training Martial Arts at 19 and would start fighting armature MMA starting in  2009 to 2011. She held an armature record of 7-1 before going pro.

Pennington made her professional MMA debut in March of 2012 when she faced Kim Couture for the MFP promotion Pennington would win by TKO (Knees To The Body.) She’d then get the first loss of her career when she faced off against Tori Adams. She’d then face Sarah Moras in Invicta and would win by Unanimous Decision. She’d then face Raquel Pa’aluhi and would win by Submission (Guillotine Choke.) Pennington would then drop two fights in a row to Cat Zingano and Leslie Smith moving her record to 3-3. She’d then get the call to be on The Ultimate Fighter. On the show she’d go 2-1 with victories over Tonya Evinger and Jessamyn Duke but would lose to Jessica Rakoczy in the Semi-final bout.

Pennington would make her UFC debut in November 2013 when she’d face off against Roxanne Modafferi winning by Unanimous Decision. She’d then lose a bout to future Strawweight champ Jéssica Andrade. Pennington would get into the win column again in her next fight when she faced off against Ashlee Evans-Smith. Pennington would then face Holly Holm losing by split decision. Pennington would then win four fights in a row including wins in a rematch against Andrade and against former Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate. She’d then drop two fights in a row including a fight with women’s MMA GOAT Amanda Nunes for the Women’s UFC Bantamweight title. She’d then win four of her next five fights.

It is unknown who Pennington will face next in the UFC Octagon next , but we hope she’ll make it four wins in a row next.


Tecia Torres | UFC
Torres after winning her bout against Angela Hill at UFC 265

One of the most interesting fighters to come out of The Ultimate Fighter is Tecia Torres. Torres was on Season 20 of the show and since then has made quite a name for herself in the promotion. She’s won her last three fights including a victory at UFC 265 in August. Torres is one tough fighter, and though she’s had a few rough patches in her career she’s come out of those rough patches a better fighter. 

Torres was born August 16, 1989 in Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S. She had a tough upbringing and credits her Mom with always encouraging her to stay on the straight and narrow and for also enrolling her and constantly paying for her Martial Arts training. Torres Started Taekwondo as a child. Torres would receive her black belt after 12 years of training in the sport. Torres is also a Black Belt in Karate and has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Torres also excels out of the Martial arts sphere with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology and a Masters in criminology all from Florida Atlantic University. 

In 2011 Torres started her amature MMA career she’d win each of her seven bouts and would win titles for the 115-pound divisions of MMA Solutions, US Freedom Fighter Championship and American Battle Championships. This early success led to Torres going on to fight MMA professionally. She’d start her professional career by signing with Invicta Fighting Championships. She fought four fights with Invicta and won each of those fights including wins over future UFC Strawweight Paige Vanzant. She also notched a win against future Two time UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas.

This early professional MMA success would lead to Torres to compete On The Ultimate Fighter. During this season the UFC added the strawweight division and the contestants would fight for the UFC Strawweight title. It was the first season where all of the Fighters ended up in the UFC. Torres had found her home and although she has had a rough patch where she lost four fights in a row It should be noted that all but one of Torres’ career losses were to future or former UFC champions.