Female strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, will help introduce another UFC® landmark next month as she defends her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the first-ever women’s strawweight co-main event at UFC® 185.
Esparza: The Face of UFC® Female Firsts
While participating in the first female strawweight Ultimate Fighter season, Esparza won all of her fights against her 14 opponents by decision. That is until she finished her final opponent, Rose Namajunas, with a jaw-dropping, rear-naked choke in the third round in the show’s finale, winning the coveted title of the female strawweight class.
Esparza quickly became the beaming face of the entire women’s strawweight division.
Jedrzejczyk made her UFC® debut last July when she fought Juliana Lima. The Polish fighter won by a unanimous decision.
The strawweight newcomer then went on to fight Claudia Gadelha last December. Despite Gadelha’s hype, Jedrzejczyk won in an upset decision against the Brazilian MMA star. The split decision is what won the six-time Muay Thai champion her title shot.
Jedrzejczyk is undefeated in her MMA career and boasts a record of 8-0, making her the top contender to challenge Esparza.
Having once been a male-dominated organization, the UFC® has come a long way since signing their first female fighter in 2012. That fighter, Ronda Rousey, has dominated the division until this point, taking out each and every one of her bantamweight opponents.
Next to Rousey, Esparza is the only other female champion the UFC® knows. If Rousey is the queen of the UFC®, Esparza is the princess. While Esparza has the similar star-quality Rousey has shown over the last few years, Jedrzejczyk has the stone-faced stare of an MMA mastermind.
The explosive bout will take place on March 15, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. UFC® 185 features a stacked card of title bouts and the intense match-ups across all divisions.
The Main Event
Pettis vs dos Anjos
UFC® 185 will be headlined by Anthony “Showtime” Pettis facing off against top contender Rafael dos Anjos. The match will mark Pettis’ second title defense since defeating fellow Ultimate Fighter coach, Gilbert Melendez, last December at UFC® 181.
Other Things to Look Forward to at UFC® 185
Hendricks vs Brown
Along with “Showtime”’s fight, audiences at UFC® 185 will get to witness Johnny “Big Rig” Hendricks’ return to the Octagon™ since his welterweight belt loss to Robbie Lawler this past December. He will face Matt Brown in an attempt to get back on the road to being the champion once again.
Nelson vs Overeem
Roy Nelson and Alistair Overeem will go at it as the heavyweight bout for UFC® 185. Nelson will be seeking to rebound from a disappointing loss to Mark Hunt while Overeem seeks to finally begin a winning streak after his win against Stefan Struve. Both of the sluggers are working to establish themselves better in the UFC® after some career setbacks as of late.
Read more on what to look forward to at UFC® 185 >>
See All the Thrilling Action of UFC® 185 live!
With UFC VIP Experience, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of UFC®! With its Official Ticket Packages, you will receive VIP status and exclusive access to pre-fight weigh-ins, official fighter Q & A’s and tours of where everything goes down: the Octagon™!
VIPs will even have access to the VIP Hospitality Party Room, complete with complimentary gourmet food and a fully stocked, open-bar. While relaxing and enjoying the delicious fare pre-fight, you will have the chance to meet fighters and even receive photo-ops with Octagon Girls™ and MMA legends!
Do not miss your chance witness history as the first-ever female strawweights face-off in the Octagon™ as the co-main event at UFC® 185!
Take on the Takedown Party!
If you want a full weekend experience, UFC VIP Experiences can get you invites to the Friday Night Takedown Party to help you kick-off the event! The Friday night party will feature an open-bar, delicious hors d’oeuvres and the perfect party atmosphere to get the weekend started. While at the event, there will be Octagon Girls™ and UFC® fighter appearances!
Read more on taking on the Friday Night Takedown Party >>