With former world champion boxer Holly Holm sidelined from making her UFC debut due to a neck injury, Raquel Pennington, Holm’s UFC 181 opponent, has been left in limbo, wondering if she would still be fighting on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas.
UFC officials on Wednesday alleviated Pennington’s worries by announcing that promotional newcomer Ashlee Evans-Smith had agreed to take Holm’s spot.
Pennington’s record is a mediocre 4-4, but she has faced some tough competition, losing to the likes of top bantamweight contender Cat Zingano and former Invicta FC title challenger Leslie Smith along the way. She fought her way into the UFC via the eighteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, defeating Roxanne Modafferi on the finale before dropping a split decision to Jessica Andrade at UFC 171.
Evans-Smith struggled through the final fights of her amateur career, but is 3-0 as a professional. She enters the UFC coming off of a victory over Marciea Allen under the World Series of Fighting banner, but her most notable victory is a TKO stoppage of controversial transgender fighter Fallon Fox at CFA 12.
The bout will be one of the support fights on a UFC 181 card that features welterweight champion Johny Hendricks putting his belt on the line against Robbie Lawler, and lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis defending his championship against Gilbert Melendez.