Polish striker Joanna Jedrzejczyk will likely be the first person to challenge newly minted UFC women's strawweight champion Carla Esparza for her throne. The news was announced by UFC President Dana White after Jedrzejczyk's win over Claudia Gadelha at UFC on Fox 13.
Dana White a big fan of Joanna Jędrzejczyk . Says she's "probably going to get the next (title) shot."— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) December 14, 2014
Jedrzejczyk impressed many by hanging with Gadelha, who was commonly ranked among the top 115-pound female fighters in the world. After a slobberknocker of a fight, Jedrzejczyk wound up on the good end of a split-decision victory (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). Afterward, Jedrzejczyk was seen sitting alongside both White and UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner for the UFC on Fox 13 main card fights.
While Jedrzejczyk remains a mystery for most UFC fans, she has demonstrated some serious skills in her two UFC outings. Training under famed kickboxer Ernesto Hoost, she quickly established herself as one of the best strikers in the UFC's strawweight division by out-pointing Invicta FC import Juliana Lima. Her UFC on Fox 13 win, however, may help get her over with fans.
With the relative shallowness of the UFC women's strawweight division at this time, there are few options for the title shot beside Jedrzejczyk. Esparza received the UFC strawweight strap following The Ultimate Fighter 20, which used a tournament structure that inherently pruned potential contenders out of the title picture. Beside Jedrzejczyk and Esparza, the only strawweight who does not own a UFC loss of some kind is Paige VanZant, who impressed many with her UFC debut in November. But she owns a 2013 loss to TUF 20 contender Tecia Torres.
As such, a matchup between Esparza and Jedrzejczyk in March or April is a realistic possibility. Stick with Bleacher Report for more news as it becomes available.