It’s sounding more and more likely that former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will move up to the flyweight division to battle Valentina Shevchenko for the division’s vacant title.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Joanna Jedrzejczyk divulged that there’s a strong chance the fight happens this year.
“There’s a big chance that this happens,” she said (transcript via MMAMania). “If this fight is going to happen it’s going to happen this year.”
If Joanna Jedrzejczyk does move up to fight Valentina Shevchenko for the belt, she will skip ahead of several flyweight contenders who are adamant they are more deserving of that opportunity. For those contenders, the former strawweight champion has a message.
“I’m so sorry, don’t be jealous,” she said. “There are not so many dedicated fighters like me and not that many with that big legacy.”
“I am always willing to fight and UFC knows this. I was supposed to take a long break, but I don’t know if that will happen now. Like I said, I am always open to move up and fight for the belt against Shevchenko.”
Joanna Jedrzejczyk last fought in late July, when she picked up a unanimous decision win over long-time contender Tecia Torres. With this win, she rebounded from back to back losses to Rose Namajunas. The first of these losses, a first-round knockout, marked the end of Jedrzejczyk’s title reign. The second, a decision, marked her failure to reclaim the title. She is 15-2 overall.
Valentina Shevchenko, meanwhile, has not fought since February, when she bludgeoned Priscila Cachoeira to a second-round submission victory. She was supposed to battle inaugural UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano for the belt in the co-main event of UFC 228 this month, but the bout was scrapped when Montano’s weight cut caused her to be hospitalized. Montano was subsequently stripped of the belt.
Do you want to see Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk fight for the vacant flyweight title?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/18/2018.