By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Jessica Penne had a long wait to get back into the Octagon. She had to wait even longer to get a win.
Penne returned to the UFC on Saturday night. She defeated UFC newcomer Lupita Godinez via a split decision on the UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Gastelum undercard at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Two judges had had Penne winning 29-28. Another judge had Godinez winning 29-28.
“My road back to competition has been long and has tested me in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to handle,” Penne posted on Instagram before the bout. “There were times I felt I would never be here again. To say this has been an emotional week is an understatement, but I’ve been through an emotional 4 years on this road back so I’m ready, excited and grateful. Thank you to everyone who stuck by me.”
The fighting veteran fought Godinez on short notice. She was scheduled to fight Hannah Goldy at UFC 260 in March.
Due to a positive coronavirus test by Goldy, the fight was pushed back. Goldy and Penne were scheduled to fight again on Saturday but at the beginning of April, Godinez was announced as a replacement for Goldy.
With the win, Penne improved to 13-5. She won her first bout since winning in The Ultimate Fighter when she defeated Randa Markos by a split decision on December 12, 2014.
Penne returned to the Octagon on Saturday for the first time since 2017 when she lost to Danielle Taylor by a unanimous decision. After the loss, she had to deal with a USADA anti-doping suspension.
This is Penne’s fourth win by decision.
Before losing on Saturday, Godinez had a perfect 5-0 record.
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