Well, we had the idea teased out to us, just last week, when Dana White told Yahoo Sports that they were working on putting Valerie Letourneau in the next title shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and hoping to get it done for UFC 193. At the time it seemed more likely that the fight was going to end up at UFC 195, as White talked about Letourneau not being ready in time for 193. I’m not sure what exactly changed since then, but today the UFC announced that Jedrzejczyk vs. Letourneau was indeed a go for Melbourne, Australia.
Valerie Letourneau will be making her bid for the strawweight title on the back of a four fight win streak stretching back to May of 2014. She has UFC wins over Elizabeth Phillips, Jessica Rakoczy, and most recently Maryna Moroz at UFC FIght Night Holloway vs. Oliveira just back in August. The Canadian kickboxer recently moved her training camp to American Top Team, and has seen a generally improved run of form since making the switch. She has, however, struggled to make 115 lbs consistently, needing two attempts to get to the limit against Moroz in a fight where she faded badly, potentially due to her weight cut. It will be interesting to see if that’s a factor, especially against a champion like Jedrzejczyk who tends to stay strong late into fights.
For Joanna Champion, this will be the second defense of her title since winning the belt in March of this year. She defeated Carla Esparza at UFC 185 to win the strawweight title, and knocked out Jessica Penne inside 3 rounds in Berlin on June 20th. She currently stands with a 10-0 unbeaten record and it looks like she’s intent on ruling her division with an iron fist as quickly as possible.
Here’s a look at the UFC 193 card as it stands now:
Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valerie Letourneau
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
Michael Bisping vs. Robert Whittaker
Jake Matthews vs. Akbarh Arreola
Kyle Noke vs. Peter Sobotta
Gian Villante vs. Anthony Perosh
Daniel Kelly vs. Ricardo Abreu
Richard Walsh vs. Steve Kennedy
Brendan O’Reilly vs. William Macario
Stefan Struve vs. Jared Rosholt
Richie Vaculik vs. Danny Martinez
Ryan Benoit vs. Ben Nguyen
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