Ashlee Evans-Smith To Face Raquel Pennington At UFC 181With former boxing champ Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm sidelined due to a neck injury, CFA women’s featherweight tournament winner Ashlee Evans-Smith has stepped in to battle Raquel “Rocky” Pennington at UFC 181: “Hendricks vs Lawler 2” on December 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC officials confirmed the change today following an initial announcement from Pennington’s team on Tuesday. Evans-Smith remains unbeaten in her pro career and she most recently earned a TKO victory in June. Pennington looks to rebound from a close loss to Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade.

Evans-Smith (3-0-0) kicked off her amateur career with four straight wins including a victory over current UFC competitor Jessamyn “The Gun” Duke, but she struggled late in her amateur run against some of the top prospects in Tuff-N-Uff. Since turning pro in the inaugural CFA women’s featherweight title tournament in March 2013, Evans-Smith has turned her career around. She avenged an amateur loss by defeating Tori Adams at CFA 10 and won the inaugural CFA Women’s Featherweight Championship by stopping transgender fighter Fallon “The Queen of Swords” Fox at CFA 12.

When CFA failed to promote an event after her victory over Fox, Evans-Smith looked elsewhere for fights and she signed on with World Series of Fighting earlier this year. In her lone WSOF bout, Evans-Smith stopped Marciea “Black Widow” Allen with elbows in the third round. She now steps in on short notice for her biggest fight to date on next month’s UFC 181 card.

Pennington (4-4-0) amassed a stellar 7-1 record as an amateur prior to turning pro in March 2012. She posted wins in three of her first four pro bouts, with the lone defeat coming against the aforementioned Tori Adams, who badly missed weight for their June 2012 bout. Pennington subsequently suffered setbacks against “Alpha” Cat Zingano and Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith inside the Invicta FC cage, but she put on a solid showing during TUF 18 and defeated Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. She most recently dropped a close decision to Andrade at UFC 171.

UFC 181: “Hendricks vs Lawler 2” takes place on December 6th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout between Evans-Smith and Pennington may air on the PPV main card.



(Photo Credit: Rolando de la Fuente)

  1. This is gunna be a good fight! If it goes to the ground E ans-Smith is a beast!!!

  2. Love this girl for exposing Fallon Fox.

    Did you see Fallon Fox’s comments on the UG? Now, that’s one person with some serious issues… I never saw anyone celebrating hurting his / her opponents so much like that.

  3. Yes so happy that this fight’s happening. Would have been nice to see Holm fight, but great that Evans-Smith is now in the UFC. Should be a great fight.

    No I didn’t see Fallon Fox’s comments – I know Fox did some serious damage to one recent opponent, so it was nice to see Ashley put all of this controversy to bed with her stoppage win over Fallon. That’s undoubtedly what got her into the UFC. Plus filling in on short notice like this always puts you in good standing with Dana

  4. Exactly… Fallon was bragging about leaving her opponents a mess and giving them a blood bath and so on. Also, posted pics of her opponents being hurt.. I think this turned more people off, because, in any case, that would be extremely unprofessional. Far worse in her case, where there is so much controversy.

    I was on the fence, and, now, I am against her.

  5. great replacement.
    with her all-american wrestling pedigree and her aggressive ground and pound she can out power rachel on the ground.
    but she seems to have lack standup skill in her last fight, hopefully she already fixed that, since rachel punch is not to be kidding with.
    not yet ready for top rank ufc, but against rachel, i hope she’ll win…
    as for the fox things, man she sure have a huge chips on her shoulder, from reading her posts there.

  6. Thanks Rafael for that background info. I was not at all aware that Fallon had done such things — yes very unprofessional to say the least. I understand if she’s had a very hard time in her life so far, but I would think that would make her more sensitive and kinder to others, not the other way around! She seems to have some issues indeed.

    Yes reedone816, this looks like a classic striker vs. wrestler. Unfortunately for Ashley, she’s not only taking this fight on short notice, but also making her UFC debut, which I understand is very difficult by itself. And against Raquel who’s fully trained and now making her 3rd UFC appearance. I just hope for a good fight, which I’m sure they’ll give us.

  7. Fox is nothing but a publicity hog…she/he is 38 years old…no chance of ever making a career out of mma but maybe she can make a career out of shit stirring. If Rocky Pennington lets her hands go, she is a good a boxer as Kaufman and Eye…if not she is in for a long night cause Evans-Smith is a ETG girl!!#!
    Embrace The Grind for those of you who don’t know the wrestlers mantra.