Carla Esparza Defends Against Joanna Jędrzejczyk At UFC 185UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza makes the first defence of her new title on March 14th at UFC 185: “Pettis vs dos Anjos” in Dallas, Texas. Esparza battles undefeated Polish striker Joanna Jędrzejczyk in the five-round co-main event on the card.

UFC officials confirmed plans for the fight on Wednesday following reports from multiple outlets. Esparza made history by becoming the UFC’s first 115-pound women’s champ on December 12th. One night later, Jędrzejczyk handed Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha her first loss at UFC on FOX 13.

Esparza’s (10-2-0) first title run came in Invicta Fighting Championships, where she won three straight fights to become the inaugural Invicta FC Strawweight Champion. However, after a planned title fight between Esparza and Gadelha fell apart on three occasions, Esparza joined 15 other women on The Ultimate Fighter 20 this past year. The standout wrestler won all three of her fights on the show to move on to the championship final at the TUF 20 Finale. There, she submitted “Thug” Rose Namajunas with a third-round rear-naked choke to become UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.

Jędrzejczyk (8-0-0) has maintained an active fighting schedule since transitioning from kickboxing to MMA. The Polish star won back-to-back fights in a four-week span this past year and earned a spot on the UFC roster by knocking out Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 69. After outpointing Juliana “Ju Thai” de Lima Carneiro, Jędrzejczyk earned a shot at Esparza’s new title by narrowly edging out BJJ world champion Gadelha in a closely-contested fight on December 13th. She now plans to bring UFC title gold back to Poland with a win in March.

UFC on FOX 15: “Pettis vs dos Anjos” takes place on March 14th at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The event is headlined by a UFC Lightweight Championship bout between Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos.



(Photo Credit: Esther Lin, /

  1. IMO, Gadelha beat Joanna soundly all three rounds. She had one knockdown and dominated 15 seconds of the first round. We know she can be pinned down or against the cage. Carla FTW.

  2. JJ can also knockout anyone. Best female striker in the world. And Carla is not as strong as Gadelha. I think UFC would love to see JJ win. Carla is the female Ben Askren. JJ could produce exciting fights with Rose, PVZ, Grasso, Torres, JoJo.

  3. JJ is a better striker than Germaine de Randaime, the most decorated female muay thai fighter ever?

  4. Better striker than Miriam Nakamoto?
    Jemyma Betrian is also up there.