Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Raquel Pennington set for vacant bantamweight title at UFC 297

The inaugural UFC women’s division is ready to crown a new champion.

Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington have agreed to meet on January 20 to battle for the vacant UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 297.

MMA Fighting confirmed the matchup Friday following an initial report by Ag. Fight.

Bueno Silva (10-2-1, 1 NC) saw the biggest win of her MMA career erased in her most recent fight after a failed drug test for ritalinic acid resulted in the Nevada Athletic Commission overturning her second-round submission over Holly Holm into a no-contest. Ritalinic acid is a major urinary metabolite of methylphenidate, which is better known as Ritalin, commonly used for treatment of ADHD. Bueno Silva told MMA Fighting in August that the offending substance was an ADHD medication she’s taken for the past three years.

Bueno Silva, 32, is currently MMA Fighting’s No. 1 ranked bantamweight in the world. She is undefeated in the UFC since moving back up to 135 pounds in 2022, notching wins over Wu Yanan, Stephanie Egger, and Lina Lansberg, in addition to the Holm result.

Pennington (15-8) has won five consecutive bouts heading into the second title challenge of her UFC career. Her streak includes victories over ranked contenders Ketlen Vieira, Macy Chiasson, and Pannie Kianzad. The 35-year-old veteran is MMA Fighting’s No. 3 ranked bantamweight in the world and has compiled a 12-5 overall octagon record since debuting in the promotion in 2013 following a run on The Ultimate Fighter 18.

Pennington suffered a fifth-round TKO loss in May 2018 to now-retired former champ Amanda Nunes in her previous shot at the UFC bantamweight title.

UFC 297 takes place in Toronto. An official venue and main event for the show has yet to be announced.