Pannie Kianzad will replace Melissa Gatto and face Julia Avila at UFC 239.
Reasons for Gatto’s withdrawal were not disclosed. MMAjunkie.com was first to report the new bantamweight booking. UFC 239 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a light heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. Kianzad vs. Avila is scheduled for the early prelims, which air on ESPN+ beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT.
Kianzad appeared on Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” falling to Macy Chiasson at the “TUF 28” finale this past November. The 27-year-old Swede returned to the win column with a decision win over Iony Razafiarison at Superior Challenge 19 on May 11. The Invicta FC and Cage Warriors veteran owns an 11-4 career mark.
Avila is coming off a second-round TKO victory against Alexa Conners at Invicta FC 32 that improved her pro record to 5-1. The 31-year-old scored victories over UFC talents Nicco Montano and Marion Reneau on the regional circuit earlier in her career.