As if the UFC didn’t turn enough heads with the news of Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm at UFC 195, they turned a few more with the announcement of a second championship fight. Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will likely defend her title against top-ranked Claudia Gadhela.
UFC President Dana White made the announcement to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times Friday in the wake of the UFC 195 main event being revealed. This will be the first time in UFC history that two women’s championship fights will headline a card, whether it be pay-per-view or cable television.
This won’t be the first time that Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha have done battle. The two squared off last December, with Jedrzejczyk taking the victory in a close and controversial split decision at UFC on Fox 13. According to MMADecisions, 12 of their 14 submitted media scores and 37 percent of fan scores had the fight going Gadelha’s way. After the fight, Gadelha’s coach Andre Pederneiras ripped the judges, and said that he planned on appealing the decision.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk having her next fight announced well over four months in advance is a far cry from her last bout. The champion defeated challenger Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night Berlin on less than two months notice after the event’s original main event of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixiera was canceled.
Both Gadelha and Jedrzejczyk were dominant this summer in their respective fights. Gadelha obliterated former consensus top ranked women’s strawweight fighter Jessica Aguilar, while Jedrzejczyk brutalized the aforementioned Penne for three rounds. Jedrzejczyk remains undefeated in her professional MMA career, while Gadelha’s lone loss was the controversial split decision to Jedrzejczyk.
When asked about a potential re-match earlier this year, Jedrzejczyk drew the ire of Gadelha by telling Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour the fight would be an “easy win.”
“I would like that. I’m different now, I’m going to win easy this time. I’m better. Now I know I have KO power, my wrestling is different, getting better and better. I really can play on the ground even better than before.”
Gadelha took to Twitter shortly after the comment to call Jedrzejczyk a “little girl.”
Little girl, Forget about me and go train because I’m working hard. You keep talking about me because you know you lost to me. #Imreal 💪🏾
— Claudia Gadelha (@ClaudiaGadelha_) July 5, 2015
The move to put the fight as the co-main event alongside Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm is an ambitious one, and one the company hopes pays off in the form of earning Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia Gadelha and the women’s strawweight division some much needed attention.
UFC 195 takes place January 2, 2016 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
[Image via Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport]