News of the switch was first reported by MMA Fighting.
Ladd had been booked to face Irene Aldana at UFC 273 before Aldana pulled out with an undisclosed injury. Pennington has won three straight since losing to former champion Holly Holm at UFC 246.
Pennington was issued a six-month suspension by USADA last year after allegedly taking unauthorized medications without clearance. She returned later in 2021 with back-to-back wins over Pannie Kianzad and Macy Chiasson.
Ladd will make her return to bantamweight after a series of well-documented issues with weight cutting. She is coming off of a main event loss to Norma Dumont in a short-notice featherweight bout in October.
Shortly after news of the short-notice booking broke, Pennington took to Instagram to share her excitement for the opportunity.
“2 weeks!!!” Pennington said.
Pennington will compete on the same card as her fiance, Tecia Torres, who will face Mackenzie Dern on the UFC 273 main card.
Pennington challenged Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title back at UFC 224, losing via fifth-round TKO. She would then lose to another former title challenger, Germaine de Randamie in Nov. 2018 before getting back in the win column against Irene Aldana.
What is your prediction for Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington?