The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale will feature a rematch between the current UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk and #1 in the official UFC Strawweight rankings Cláudia Gadelha for the former’s title. UFC betting odds favor the Polish fighter:
Claudia Gadelha 4½ (-260) +180
Joanna Jedrzejczyk 4½ (+220) -220
In addition to being a championship bout, I’m going to go ahead and call it a grudge match as well. As fans who bet on UFC might or might not remember, the last and so far only time these two met, Jędrzejczyk won via split decision on UFC on Fox 13 in December 2014. More importantly, Gadelha punched Jędrzejczyk after the bell signaling the end of the third en final round had sounded. Sure, the Brazilian apologized and claimed that she didn’t hear the bell, but apologies is not what we like to hear from our cage fighters. Moreover, most of the MMA media and the viewers scored the bout in favor of Gadelha – the loser. Hopefully all of this baggage comes into play and these two lovely ladies will proceed to beat each other like two soccer hooligans at the Euro Cup.
Gadelha did bounce back from that loss, though, and went on to defeat Jessica Aguilar by unanimous decision at UFC 190 in August 2015, becoming the No. 1 contender for the Strawweight title and elevating her record to 13 (2 via KO, 6 by submission, and 5 by decision)-1. Did I mention that the loss to Jędrzejczyk was his first and only so far? As for JJ, she remains undefeated at 11-0. She followed up her win over Gadelha by besting Carla Esparza and Jessica Penne by TKO, and Valérie Létourneau by unanimous decision. She won the Strawweight belt from Esparza and will put in on the line for the third time against Gadelha.
Part of what makes Jędrzejczyk the UFC betting favorite is that she is the consensus #1 female strawweight in the world (as of November 30, 2015) and is either the No. 1 or No. 2 pound for pound female fighter in the world – depending on whom you ask. In addition to that, she is the only female in the UFC mixed gender ranking – ranking 12th. And if all of that was not enough, she is a six-time world champion and four-time European champion in Muay Thai. But people who bet on UFC should not take Gadelha for granted; she is not the youngest Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the history of the Nova União academy for nothing. All things considered, this fight will provide a cool dénouement for The Ultimate Fighter 23, as well as a treat for UFC betting fans.