Jessica Rakoczy Set To Face Valérie Létourneau At UFC 186TUF 18 finalist Jessica “The Ragin'” Rakoczy looks for a fresh start in a new division when she returns to action at UFC 186: “Dillashaw vs Barao 2” on April 25th in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Rakoczy drops to 115 pounds to face Valérie “Trouble” Létourneau, who makes her strawweight debut.

UFC officials announced the featured matchup on Saturday night. Rakoczy surprised many by fighting her way to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 18 in 2013 before losing to Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña. Létourneau won her short-notice Octagon debut as a bantamweight at UFC 174 in June.

Rakoczy (1-4-0, 1 ND) struggled early in her MMA career after transitioning to the sport from boxing, but she enjoyed a career resurgence during TUF 18. She defeated Revelina “Nana” Berto, Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi and Raquel “Rocky” Pennington in succession to advance to the tournament final on November 30th. However, she was overwhelmed by ground and pound from Peña, who became the first female winner of The Ultimate Fighter with one second remaining in round one at the TUF 18 Finale. Rakoczy now moves down in weight in hopes of fighting her way towards the strawweight title.

Létourneau (6-3-0) has also encountered ups and downs during her MMA career, but she too has found success inside the UFC Octagon. After her three-fight winning streak was snapped by a razor-thin Split Decision loss to current UFC contender Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha in April 2012, Létourneau tried out for TUF 18, but she was defeated in the elimination round. She bounced back with a 34-second TKO triumph this past May and stepped in to face Elizabeth Phillips on short notice at UFC 174. Létourneau did just enough to take the decision win and now seeks another victory in her new home at 115 pounds.

UFC 186: “Dillashaw vs Barao 2” takes place on April 25th at Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The event is headlined by a UFC Bantamweight Championship rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Renan “Barao” Pegado.

 

 

(Photo Credit: UFC)

  1. Whoa. Hope they are both not too drained. I know that Jessica used to be a flyweight and was too small for the bantamweight division, whereas Valerie used to be a small bantamweight… but that’s a huge drop for both, especially L├ętourneau.

    If they are healthy, this could be a great fight, given their striking skills!

  2. Hey Rafael – I saw this fight and thought it was great, but I totally overlooked the fact that this is a straw weight fight! I never saw that coming. I recall Jessica weighed in at 131 for her TUF18 finale against Pena, so I knew she was light for Bantam, but I had no idea Letourneau was capable of dropping down to 115. Yes huge drop for both, and it will be very interesting to see how each does at the lighter weight. And more interesting yet is how the rest of the straw weights will fare against them. You have to think the winner of this fight will easily be Top 10 in the division, if they’re not both already.

  3. If Rakoczy walks around at 131 lbs, she can easily make 115 lbs. Not sure about L├ętourneau, though!

    I think Gadelha walks around at 140 lbs., so all is possible.

    This reminds me of how great Megumi Fujii was: she only cut 2 lbs. to make the strawweight limit (115 lbs.), and was often schooling women far bigger than she.

    Such a shame this division went to the UFC after she retired.