While Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov deservedly took center stage in New York last night with the Irishman stealing the majority of the headlines, following the event Dana White dropped a bombshell, announcing the addition of a huge flyweight title contest to UFC 231.
Speaking with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, the UFC President confirmed the news that the vacant women’s flyweight title will be up for grabs on December 8 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Number one contender Valentina Shevchenko will finally get her chance to capture the gold (barring any complications), this time against former 115lb champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
The 125lb belt is currently vacant after the former champion, Nicco Montano, was admitted to hospital prior to the UFC 228 weigh ins, prompting Dana to declare the title as vacant. Now the opportunity is open to both the former women’s strawweight champion, Jedrzejczyk and number 1 ranked women’s flyweight, Shevchenko to claim their spot at the top of the 125lb division.
This will be the Polish striker’s first flyweight appearance. Jedrzecjzyk heads into the fight following a unanimous decision victory against number 6 ranked strawweight Tecia Torres. Now, the former strawweight queen is set to face “The Bullet” for the third time in her career with Shevchenko holding two kickboxing wins over the 31-year-old.
Joanna entertained the idea of moving up to flyweight in the past after losing her title to Namajunas but ultimately chose to focus on reclaiming her strawweight belt. However, the news that the vacant title is up for whoever wishes to claim it, appears to have intrigued her enough to accept the challenge, as shown in her interview with Ariel Helwani.