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Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk Strawweight Title Fight Set for UFC 185 Co-Main Event; Pearson vs. Stout Also Added


(“After I won The Ultimate Fighter, they told me I could pick any three toys from the middle shelf.” / Photo via Getty)

TUF 20 winner Carla Esparza will make her first UFC strawweight title defense against undefeated Polish striker Joanna Jedrzejczyk, in the co-main event of UFC 185: Pettis vs. Dos Anjos (March 14th, Dallas). The booking was announced yesterday on UFC Tonight.

Esparza won the UFC’s inaugural strawweight title with her third-round rear-naked choke submission of Rose Namajunas at the TUF 20 Finale in December. “Cookie Monster” was the #1 seed in the TUF 20 bracket due to her previous stint in Invicta FC, where she nabbed that promotion’s strawweight title as well.

Jedrzejczyk is 8-0 professionally and 2-0 in the UFC, with decision wins over Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha. A four-time IFMA Muay Thai European champion, J-Jed is perhaps best known for getting up in her opponents’ faces during weigh-ins and eating a late punch during her last fight against Gadelha.

Even though Johny Hendricks vs. Matt Brown is arguably a more high-profile fight, Esparza vs. Jedrzejczyk will fill UFC 185′s co-main event spot due to a title being on the line; that’s just how it works. In other UFC 185 booking news…

A bout between lightweight strikers Ross Pearson and Sam Stout has also been added to UFC 185. Pearson most recently suffered a TKO loss to Al Iaquinta at the madcap, Potato Award-winning UFC Fight Night 55: Rockhold vs. Bisping event in November. With just one victory in his last four Octagon appearances, Pearson could really use a win here. Stout hasn’t competed since last April, when he was knocked out by KJ Noons in 30 seconds then nearly guillotine-choked the ref.

The current UFC 185 lineup is…

- Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (for UFC lightweight title)
- Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (for UFC strawweight title)
- Johny Hendricks vs. Matt Brown
- Alistair Overeem vs. Roy Nelson
- Ross Pearson vs. Sam Stout
- Henry Cejudo vs. Chris Cariaso
- Sergio Pettis vs. Ryan Benoit

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