Our latest Fighter Profile features a current UFC Fighter and Redemption Martial Arts Ambassador:
Name: Raquel Vasquez-Pennington
Country of Origin: USA
Gym: Team Victory
Weight Class: 135 Pounds
Promotions Fought For: Kickdown, Rocky Mountain Bad Boys, Clash of the Titans, Reno Extreme Fights, Destiny MMA, Invicta Fighting Championships, The Ultimate Fighter season 18, Ultimate Fighting Championships.
How did your MMA journey commence?
I grew up being the biggest tomboy, grew up with all male cousins and hung out with all the guys in the neighbourhood. I always wanted to box but my parents told me no. I grew up playing basketball, volleyball, softball, and ran cross country. I received many scholarships but then I broke my back and couldn’t take any. Went through rehab and was joking with my mom that I was going to join MMA since it was so extreme to my surprise she said go for it and went and talked to the coach. Started training and $ months later I was in the cage.
What is it about MMA that attracts you to the sport?
I love how you can be yourself. It gives you all the confidence you need. And most of all it constantly throws challenges at you and I love challenges.
Who was your favourite fighter growing up?
I loved watching boxing and then when I got into MMA Gina Corano and Kerry Vera were my favourite to watch.
What sort of a fighter would you say you are?
I think I am a smart well rounded fighter.
What has been your most memorable moment in MMA thus far?
Being part of the first women to make it onto The Ultimate Fighter then making my debut into the UFC. I always said when I first started I was going to be one of the first women in the UFC and back then it wasn’t even an option for us girls.
You have an affiliation with Redemption Martial Arts – why did you choose to support this great cause?
I went through many struggles myself being a gay athlete and growing up I had many friends who were bullied and committed suicide. To have the opportunity to rise up against bullying hits a soft spot for me and makes me happy that I can make a difference in the lives of those who struggle.
With the emergence of some many talented WMMA fighters – what separates you from the rest?
My willingness to give to my fans, my drive and determination I don’t take any of my career for granted I am grateful for the opportunity. I have wicked strength that most the girls on TUF that all the girls said I was the strongest they have ever met. Outside of my training I take the time to work with people out of the kindness of my heart, its not about money for me but to help inspire and motivate people to chase their dreams.
Your dream fight – who would it be?
I want to eventually fight all the girls in the UFC. Every woman brings a new challenge to the table that I want to work through but my dream would be to fight for the world title in the UFC.
What would you say is your penultimate goal in MMA?
To be the Women’s World Champion in the UFC at 135lbs.