The subject of who and when strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will fight next is a source of confusion at the moment following the UFC’s decision to switch UFC 195’s Ronda Rousey Vs Holly Holm headliner to UFC 193.
Jedrzejczyk had been set to rematch Claudia Gadelha in the co-main event of UFC 195, forming an intriguing double-bill of woman’s MMA action, but now there’s doubt as to whether the 115lb bout will remain on the card, or indeed take place at all.
According to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole, when Rousey Vs Holm was moved to UFC 193 in Melbourne the hope was that Jedrzejczyk would follow suit, but the report goes on to reveal that it was another strawweight contender, Valerie Letourneau who had been marked out as her potential opponent.
That plan was quickly scrapped when it emerged Letourneau wouldn’t be ready in time, but it’s left everyone confused as to why Gadelha was suddenly out of the picture – not least the fighter herself.
It was known that Gadelha had an injured finger which may have influenced their thinking, but the Brazilian has since came out in the media to make it clear that she should be ready to fight at the same time as Jedrzekczyk who’s also believed to have a hand injury that had been expected to keep her out until late in the year.
It’s a puzzling situation and no doubt a cause for alarm in Gadelha’s camp, particularly as just recently we saw Miesha Tate being informed that she was getting a title shot against Ronda Rousey only to wake up one day to discover that they’d changed their mind, opted for Holly Holm instead and not bothered to tell her about it first.
There’s no doubt that Gadelha deserves the title shot. She’s the current No.1 contender on the official rankings, took Jedrzekczyk to a highly controversial split decision verdict late last year and has since returned to action with a dominant display against former WSOF champion Jessica Aguilar in what was billed as a title eliminator.
Letourneau on the other hand has made a good start to her UFC career with three victories in a row, but is still ranked just 10th in the division at this moment in time, so it would be a dubious bit of match-making from the promotion if she was to suddenly leapfrog the other nine contenders to fight for the belt.
The right answer here seems to be to stick with the original plan to have Jedrzekczyk fight Gadelha in the co-main event of UFC 195 in January and hope that welterweight champion Robbie Lawler heals up his thumb injury in time to fight Carlos Condit as the new headliner for the show instead of Rousey Vs Holm.