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Report: Raquel Pennington returns, meets Pannie Kianzad on Sept. 18 card

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The UFC bantamweight has not fought in a little over a year. 

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Raquel Pennington ahead of her fight with Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 3.
Raquel Pennington ahead of her fight with Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 3.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Raquel Pennington is back. The former UFC title challenger will meet Pannie Kianzad at an upcoming Fight Night card scheduled to take place on Sept. 18.

The news was first reported by Front Kick Online and later confirmed by both Pennington and Kianzad on their respective social media accounts.

Pennington fought last at UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Volkov, where she defeated Marion Reneau by way of unanimous decision. Several months after her win over Reneau, it was announced by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that Pennington received a six-month suspension after self-reporting a potential violation. The agency found that she ingested two banned substances, but Pennington explained that they were in medication she was prescribed by her doctor to treat a medical condition she was dealing with at the time.

The suspension was retroactive to the date she reported herself to the agency (Nov. 17) and Pennington was eligible to fight again in May.

Kianzad is coming into the fight on a four-fight win streak that was most recently extended following her appearance at UFC 263 last month. The Swede has earned unanimous decisions over Jessica-Rose Clark, Bethe Correia and Sijara Eubanks before adding a former title challenger in Alexis Davis to that list. Kianzad specifically called for a fight with Pennington during her post-fight press conference after the Davis fight and has got her wish granted.

The Fight Night card that Pennington and Kianzad will be fighting on does not have a location or venue set at this time. It does have a headliner though, and that will be between light heavyweight contenders Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann. Expect more updates to this card to be made in the coming weeks.