UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has channelled her inner Donald Cerrone in attempting to step in at the eleventh hour.
The withdrawal of 135lb. champ Amanda Nunes just hours before her scheduled rematch with Valentina Shevchenko has left a gaping hole in a UFC 213 card that’s already been stricken with cancellations.
Fighter withdrawals in the weeks and days before fights have been commonplace in the UFC in recent years, but this latest blow has left a replacement opponent for Shevchenko near impossible to find. Cue Polish terror Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
The 115 pounder is willing to step up at the last minute, and although such a bout would be incredibly difficult to sanction at this stage, UFC president Dana White is nonetheless thoroughly impressed by Joanna’s ambition.
This is no empty grandstanding either. Jedrzejczyk was already in Las Vegas (with the T-Mobile Arena hosting UFC 213), participating in the UFC Fan Expo as part of the UFC’s International Fight Week event. Entering a weight class 20 pounds higher on short notice would presumably be no problem for the 29-year-old also.
Aside from revelling in violence, Joanna also has a massive incentive to fight Valentina Shevchenko – revenge.