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Julia Avila vs. Julija Stoliarenko added to UFC event scheduled for March 20

‘Raging Panda’ Julia Avila draws former Invicta champ Julija Stoliarenko at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland.

According to MMA Junkie the UFC has added a bantamweight clash to their fight night card planned for March 20. That outlet reports that, at that event, Julia Avila (8-2) will take on Julija Stoliarenko (9-4-1).

Avila, aka ‘Raging Panda’, joined the UFC in 2019 with a win over former TUF finalist Pannie Kianzad. After four fight cancellations (two due to opponent injuries and two due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Avila booked her second UFC fight in June 2020 at UFC Vegas 2.

There she defeated Gina Mazany with a 22 second TKO. She fought three months later and took her first loss in the promotion, dropping a unanimous decision to Sijara Eubanks. Avila was slated to take on former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano at UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana in October, but Montano withdrew from the bout after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lithuania’s Stoliarenko bowed out of The Ultimate Fighter 28 with a loss to Kianzad in 2018. The former Lethwei fighter then lost her pro UFC debut to Leah Letson in the show’s finale. She was subsequently cut from the promotion.

Stoliarenko responded to her release with an impressive submission streak. She tapped four opponents in a row with armbars. That earned her an invite to compete for the Invicta FC bantamweight title last March.

At Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3 Stoliarenko battled Lisa Verzosa for 25 minutes in a bloody Fight of the Year candidate on route to claiming that promotion’s 135 lb title.

Soon after this she was resigned by the UFC. Her first fight back in the Octagon was a loss to fellow former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya.

The UFC’s March 20 show is expected to be headlined by middleweights Derek Brunson and Kevin Holland. The event’s venue is TBD, but will almost certainly be either Yas Island, UAE or the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Fights also scheduled for that card include Max Griffin vs. Kenan Song, Adrian Yanez vs. Gustavo Lopez and Cheyanne Buys vs. Kay Hansen.