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By David Tees on 2/1/2024 9:36 AM

Raquel Pennington left UFC 297 with a title around her waist, while Sean Strickland lost his middleweight title to Dricus De Plessis at the same event.

Strickland made several homophobic comments in the lead up to UFC 297 and Pennington, who is openly gay, says that Strickland’s comments were disgusting.

“At the end of the day, people are going to talk,” Pennington said on The MMA Hour. “They’re always going to have their own opinions. You’re allowed to have your own opinion, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to affect my life. What you do with your life doesn’t affect me. I just think it was disgusting on his part to even be concerned about us as human beings and our lifestyle, and just the comments he was making.

“At the end of the day, MMA has grown a ton. The women are here. We’re here to stay. The divisions are growing. You have tons of up-and-coming talent, so to criticize female athletes, I don’t agree with any of that. But I can’t control that, and that wasn’t my focus. My focus was to go out there and accomplish my goal. Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] came in before the press conference, and they asked me how I was doing with everything. It was just one of those things, you take it as a grain of salt, and you dish it out. It’s not going to affect what I’m here doing. At the end of the day, you want to talk, but we’re still your co-main event fight.”

Pennington also revealed in the interview on The MMA Hour that whenever she was around Strickland, the former UFC Middleweight Champion would just turn away from her.

Despite the controversial comments from Strickland, one thing Pennington does agree with is what UFC CEO Dana White said about freedom of speech.

“At the end of the day, that’s why the world is the way it is,” Pennington said. “People are constantly attacking different things. At the end of the day, you should be focused on just yourself, but it’s always going to be that way. I think it’s important for people to stay true to who they are and focus on the things they can control. You can’t control other people, and when you’re letting these other people impact your life, it’s only going to drag you down. It’s going to hold you back from what you want. ...

“I don’t know. I respect Dana and Hunter for giving their concern. I also respect the fact that they give freedom of speech and they give their athletes the platform to be who they are and they just don’t care. A lot of people are constantly criticizing things and attacking Dana and saying different things but he does care about his athletes. He is there, and he did check in on us to make sure things were OK. He was like, ‘I have your back with this situation,’ too. But for me, it’s just one of those things where if I was took focus on it, it was only going to have a negative impact for me.”