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Kayla Harrison leaning toward Julianna Peña to beat Raquel Pennington

Kayla Harrison thinks UFC bantamweight champion Raquel Pennington will fall short in her first title defense.

Julianna Pena(11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) revealed that her title fight with Pennington (16-8 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is expected to take place at UFC 307 on Oct. 5 in Salt Lake City. Harrison (17-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is picking Peña to beat Pennington.

“That’s a tough call,” Harrison told MMA Junkie Radio. “I tend to go with grapplers, so I think Peña pulls it out, but it’s anybody’s fight. I’d fight both of them on the same night.”

Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka and PFL champion, ran through former champ Holly Holm for a second-round submission in her promotional debut at UFC 300 in April. One year from now, she doesn’t see either Peña or Pennington in the title picture.

“We’re going to be hyping up my fight with Amanda (Nunes) because I won the title, and now she can’t handle it and she’s coming back,” Harrison said.

Harrison and Nunes have been linked to a fight for years, but a potential matchup seemed unlikely when Harrison was a part of the PFL. By the time Harrison made her way to the UFC, Nunes had already retired about a year earlier.

However, Harrison is confident that if she can capture the bantamweight title, she’ll be able to entice her former American Top Team teammate out of retirement.

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