Consider it a postponement.
Burgeoning women's MMA talent Holly Holm was supposed to meet Raquel Pennington in her UFC debut earlier this month. That didn't happen when Holm injured her neck. But that exact same matchup will now carry over to UFC 184 on Feb. 28 in Los Angeles, MMAFighting.com confirmed with both UFC officials and Holm's manager Lenny Fresquez on Tuesday. The bout was first reported by MMAjunkie.
Holm (7-0) is one of the most intriguing women's fighters to enter the UFC since women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. The Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA product is a former three-division boxing champion and regarded as one of the best American female boxers in the world. In MMA, she has throttled the competition, finishing all but one of her fights by knockout.
Her last time out, Holm defeated Julianna Werner by TKO via head kick in the fifth round to win the Legacy FC women's bantamweight title. The UFC signed her in July with significant attention. Holm, 33, is a legitimate potential contender for Rousey, perhaps as early as 2015.
Of course, to challenge for the title she'll have to first get by Pennington (5-4). The Ultimate Fighter 18 alum beat Ashlee Evans-Smith, Holm's replacement, rather impressively by submission (bulldog choke) at UFC 181 on Dec. 6. The Colorado native is 2-1 in the UFC and, at age 26, has not yet reached the ceiling of her abilities.
UFC 184 is headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. The co-main event pits Rousey against challenger Cat Zingano for the women's bantamweight title. The card takes place at Staples Center.
It'll be the UFC's first trip to LA since UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera on Aug. 4, 2012. UFC 176 was set for Staples, but the event was canceled when Jose Aldo had to pull out of his featherweight title defense against Chad Mendes.