Fight fans, here we go. Tonight, the world is in for a treat as not one but two women’s UFC belts are on the line in Melbourne, Australia as first the rising superstar, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, defends her strawweight title against 8th ranked Valerie Letourneau at UFC 193. For the main event of the evening, the “Rowdy” one, Ronda Rousey looks to defend her bantamweight title for the 7th time against undefeated and 19 time world boxing champion, Holly Holm. This will be Rousey’s third title defense in the last 9 months and will likely get some down-time afterwards, looking to make her next fight on the UFC 200 card. The build up to this fight is not as many would have anticipated, but all of that changed at the official weigh-ins on Friday.
With Ronda Rousey burning a hole through the bantamweight division, UFC President Dana White knew that the women’s mixed-martial arts world was expanding so he brought in a new Strawweight division. The way in which he brought it in was through the UFC’s reality fight show, “The Ultimate Fighter.” How he did this was to bring in the highest ranked women strawweight fighters from around the world and put them into the traditional tournament. The key difference in this tournament was that all fighters were already signed by the UFC to compete after the show had ended. Another major difference between this special season and previous seasons, was that the winner of the finals was named the first UFC Strawweight Champion. That winner was not Jedrzejczyk because she was not on the show. No that winner was Carla Esparza, who faced Jedrzejczyk in her first title defense at UFC 185 and got pummeled to a technical knockout defeat. Esparza hasn’t fought since and Jedrzejczyk will be defending for the 2nd time this coming weekend against Valerie Letourneau, who is looking to make a sure fire name for herself.
There was a lot of heated discussion when Ronda Rousey went on “Good Morning America” in August to break the news that her next opponent would not be rival Miesha Tate as everyone had expected, but that it would be Holm getting the next shot at the champ for UFC 195 in January. The original main event at UFC 193 had to be changed when Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler got injured in training camp and his fight against Carlos Condit was scrapped. The surprise of Holm getting the nod for the fight came because just previous to Ronda’s announcement, Miesha Tate had won against 5th ranked Jessica Eye in a supposed “winner gets a title shot” fight. Dana White even stated afterwards that it seemed as though Tate would have to get the fight because of the win and then the announcement came and shocked the fight world. From a business standpoint this can likely turn Rousey-Tate III into a Tyson-Holyfield like matchup, provided it ever happens.