When Nicco Montano was stripped of her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight title after she was physically unable to defend it against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 a few weeks ago, the rest of the division’s eyes opened wide.
That’s because the opportunity to fight for the vacant strap against “Bullet” sooner, rather than later, became a lot more realistic. But, much to their dismay, all eyes turned to someone not in the 125-pound weight class, as former Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk surfaced as the front-runner to get the gig.
Which is downright disrespectful, even to non-flyweight competitors.
For her part, Joanna stated she wouldn’t turn it down if offered to her, and relayed a message to any flyweight upset that she could take precedence over them.
“I’m so sorry, don’t be jealous. There are not so many dedicated fighters like me and not that many with that big legacy,” she said on a recent edition of The Ariel Helwani MMA Show.
“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.”
Still, Joanna says she hasn’t been offered the fight, but says if it happens it will be in 2018.
“I cannot say yes, I cannot say no...There’s a big chance that this happens...If this fight is going to happen it’s going to happen this year,” she added.
Should Joanna get the title fight and ultimately capture the vacant strap, she fully intends to drop back down to 115 pounds to reclaim the title she lost to Rose Namajunas.
“Of course, I have my dream and I have a job to do,” she stated, while saying she has no hard feelings towards “Thug Rose” despite what many may believe. While a trilogy fight against Namajunas doesn’t make sense at the moment, moving up to 125 pounds seems like a logical step.
And this event could be a perfect landing spot.