As the mist dissipates over the ever-shifting ocean, two suns rise from the eastern horizon. Like two fiery goddesses fighting for reign over the sky, Joanna Jedrzejczyk will go to battle with Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC flyweight championship this Saturday, December 8 on pay per view.
Valentina “The Bullet” Shevchenko currently boasts a record of 15 wins and 3 losses claiming victories over fighters such as Holly Holm, Sarah Kaufman, and Juliana Pena.
Two of her three losses came at the hands of current bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. The second loss was a surgical five-round strike for the bantamweight belt. The battle had to be dissected shot-for-shot by the judges and though Shevchenko landed more significant strikes, the judges were split and Nunes retained the belt.
Joanna Jedrzejcyk, the goddess of the hunt, entered the strawweight division in 2014, the year it was created. Joanna fought two fights in the UFC before she was given a shot at the belt. In Joanna’s championship bid, her opponent Carla Esparza, a collegiate wrestler, attempted over a dozen takedowns. The predator JJ defended nearly all of them and punished the exhausted Esparza, beating her with a brutal second-round TKO.
Joanna would go on to reign supreme, defending her belt against the likes of Jessica Penne, Valerie Letourneau, Claudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Jessica Andrade.
Though this is the first time these two will meet in MMA, this is not the first time they have gone to war with each other. They have previously met three times in Muay Thai fights, with Shevchenko winning all three battles.
Joanna, looking to be the first female UFC fighter to hold belts in two different weight classes, claims she is not concerned with the past. “For me, it’s a totally new, different challenge, ” she told Yahoo Sports. “There are going to be challengers there are going to be champions and I am doing this. I am doing this again.”
Shevchenko will be the first challenger Joanna has faced that had any kind of edge on her, even if it was a fight that ended 10 years ago. Despite what Joanna may say, the shadow of that fight will be in the octagon this Saturday when these two titans go to war for the ultimate prize. They both better be ready to leave everything they have in the cage because when the dust settles and the blood is spilled only one queen will hold the belt and be crowned the UFC flyweight champion of the world.