Canadian Letourneau to fight for title at UFC 193

The 32-year-old from Montreal, who now makes her home in Florida, will fight strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-maine event of UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia.

The main event of the Nov. 14 card at Etihad Stadium pits bantamweight title-holder (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey against No. 8 Holly (The Preacher’s Daughter) Holm.

It’s the first time the UFC has featured two female title bouts on the same show. And the UFC hopes the Melbourne card will make history, beating its attendance record of 55,724 set at UFC 129 in April 2011 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

“It’s going to be a very good show,” said Jedrzejczyk.

The Letourneau-Jedrzejczyk bout was announced by the UFC at a Las Vegas event Friday.

“I’m very proud to represent Canada and Quebec. I’m going to make sure I make you all proud,” Letourneau said in Las Vegas.

The strawweight matchup came as the UFC looked to further bolster the Australian stadium show, which originally was to have featured welterweight champion (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler and Carlos (The Natural Born Killer) Condit. When Lawler dropped out with a thumb injury a week ago, the UFC shifted Rousey-Holm into the main event.

Now a Canadian will challenge for another title on the same card.

“I’m happy to fight her but nobody is going to take this belt from me,” Jedrzejczyk said.

The Melbourne card will actually take place Nov. 15 in Australia but will air Nov. 14 in North American due to the time difference.

Jedrzejczyk was slated to fight No. 1 contender Claudia Gadelha at UFC 195 in January. Gadelha is unable to take part in the rescheduled bout because of an injured hand, according to UFC president Dana White.

Lawler and Condit will now meet in the main event of UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.

Letourneau (8-3) has won all three of her fights in the UFC.

Ranked No. 10 among strawweight contenders, she is the second Canadian woman to go after a UFC title. Alexis Davis was stopped in the first round by Rousey at UFC 175 in July 2014.

Jedrzejczyk (10-0) won the 115-pound title at UFC 185 when she knocked out inaugural champion Carla Esparza at UFC 185. The 28-year-old hard-hitter from Poland has since defended her crown by stopping Jessica Penne in the third round in June.

Letourneau took up kickboxing as a teenager. That led to jiu-jitsu and other martial arts.

She won her pro debut in 2007 before losing to fellow Canadians Sarah Kaufman and Davis, both currently ranked UFC bantamweights.

Injuries have disrupted her career, however.

After the December 2007 loss to Davis, she fought just once in 40 months. A broken hand, concussion and two shoulder surgeries kept her on the shelf.

Letourneau and daughter Gabrielle headed south two years ago to train at American Top Team in Florida.

She had spent 10 years training at Montreal’s Tristar Gym, eventually leaving because she was the only female pro fighter there and because she thought she needed new surroundings.

The five-foot-seven Letourneau moved down a weight class in April because she felt she was too small as a bantamweight.


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