Sijara Eubanks’ loss is Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s gain.
After the UFC announced that Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis would serve as the new UFC 230 headliner, Dana White confirmed to ESPN that Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk was back on for UFC 231. Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk will be for the vacant flyweight crown, which was recently stripped from Nicco Montano when she was unable to compete at UFC 228.
When the promotion was scrambling to find a headliner for UFC 230, Shevchenko was briefly scheduled to face Eubanks at the Nov. 3 event at Madison Square Garden. That matchup drew widespread criticism, as the UFC’s MSG cards usually feature some of the biggest stars in the sport at the top of the card.
Shevchenko, a former bantamweight title challenger, was expected to vie for flyweight gold at UFC 228 but lost her chance when ex-champ Montano had to pull out of the contest due to a bad weight cut. Montano was stripped of her belt shortly thereafter. After compiling a 3-2 mark at 135 pounds, “Bullet” earned a dominant submission win over Priscilla Cachoeira in her flyweight debut at UFC Fight Night 125 on Feb. 3.
Jedrzejczyk was the promotion’s strawweight champion from March 2015 until November 2017, when she suffered a shocking first-round technical knockout loss to Rose Namajunas at UFC 217. The Polish fighter dropped a decision to Namajunas in a title rematch at UFC 223 before returning to the win column against Tecia Torres on July 28. Jedrzejczyk has history with Shevchenko, losing three times to the woman known as “Bullet” in muay Thai competition.
UFC 231 takes place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Dec. 8 and is headlined by a featherweight title bout between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.