Former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jessica Penne took one step closer to making history after she defeating Aisling Daly in their quarterfinal match of “The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will be Crowned” women’s strawweight title tournament. If she wins the whole enchilada, she will not only become the first UFC women’s strawweight champion but also be the first fighter to hold world titles in the UFC and Invicta Fighting Championships.
I’ve enjoyed watching Penne’s progress over the years and I see her coming out of this tournament as one of the top fighters in the UFC’s women’s 115-pound weight class.
Below are some videos of Penne’s triumphs.
Jessica Penne vs. Lisa Ellis
Jessica Penne vs. Lisa Ellis II
Jessica Penne vs. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc
Jessica Penne (born January 30, 1983) is an American mixed martial artist. She was the first Invicta FC Atomweight Champion. She also competed in the first women’s bout in Bellator Fighting Championships. She currently competes in the Women’s Strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
In May 2009, Penne became the first woman to compete and win a bout in the Bellator Fighting Championships organization when she fought at Bellator 5 against Tammie Schneider in a 117-pound catchweight bout. She won the fight via TKO (punches) in the first round.
In August 2010, Penne met future Bellator Strawweight Champion Zoila Gurgel in the opening quarterfinal round of the Bellator Season 3 115 lb women’s tournament at Bellator 25. Gurgel won the fight via unanimous decision.
On July 3, 2014, it was announced that Penne was one of 16 contestants on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez, which would crown the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first strawweight champion.
Penne was the fifth pick by coach Anthony Pettis. She faced Lisa Ellis in the preliminary round of the tournament and won via submission in the first round. She defeated fellow Team Pettis teammate Aisling Daly in the quarterfinals via decision win. In the semifinal round, she lost to her friend Carla Esparza by decision.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Penne made her UFC debut on December 12, 2014 at the The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Finale, facing fellow semifinalist Randa Markos on the main card. She won the back-and-forth fight by split decision (28–29, 30–27, and 29–28). The bout also won Penne her first Fight of the Night bonus award from the promotion.
Strawweight title shot
Penne was scheduled to face Juliana Lima on May 30, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 67. However, Penne was pulled from that bout in favor of a match-up with UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk on June 20, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 69, after that event’s headliner bout fell apart. She lost the fight in the third round via TKO following a flurry of punches and a knee against the cage. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Post title shot
In her first fight following her title shot loss, Penne faced Jéssica Andrade on June 4, 2016 at UFC 199. She lost the fight via TKO in the second round.
Penne next faced Danielle Taylor on April 22, 2017 at UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov. She lost the fight via unanimous decision.