Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko for the vacant UFC flyweight title is set for UFC 231.
Shevchenko was supposed to fight former champion Nicco Montano at UFC 228 before Montano was hospitalized during a botched weight cut. The UFC stripped Montano shortly thereafter and announced that Shevchenko would fight someone TBD for the vacant title.
That someone turned out to be Jedrzejczyk. The former strawweight queen got back on track with a unanimous decision win over Tecia Torres. Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her title five times before a TKO loss to current champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 217. Jedrzejczyk lost a close decision to Namajunas in a rematch at UFC 223. During her title run, Jedrzejczyk defeated the likes of Claudia Gadelha, Jessica Andrade, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Carla Esparza.
Shevchenko nearly captured the bantamweight crown but lost a split decision to current champion Amanda Nunes that could have gone either way. That was a rematch of a fight Shevchenko lost via unanimous decision, but had turned the momentum in her favor towards the end of the fight. Shevchenko holds bantamweight wins over former champion Holly Holm, Julianna Pena and Sarah Kaufman. Since moving to flyweight, she routed Priscila Cachoeira in a submission win.
The fight between Shevchenko and Jedrzejczyk is a rematch of sorts, however. The two competed three times in Muay Thai, but with Shevchenko winning each time. Now, they’ll start the MMA chapter of their head-to-head career in combat sports. As far as gambling on UFC goes, a line is yet to be announced for the flyweight clash.
UFC 231 goes down on December 8 from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Max Holloway is rumored to defend his featherweight title against No. 1-contender Brian Ortega in the main event.
The rest of the card thus far is:
- Champ Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega – for featherweight title
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for vacant women’s flyweight title
- Nina Ansaroff vs. Claudia Gadelha
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns
- Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima
- Kyle Bochniak vs. Hakeem Dawodu
- Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic
- Elias Theodorou vs. TBD
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