UFC Fight Night 69 Preview

ufc_fn69The UFC will go from Mexico to Germany this week and appropriately the only European champion will headline the card.

The UFC has been the premier MMA promotion in the world and yet the best fighters rarely come from a host of countries.

There are two countries that have ruled the championships in the UFC with Brazil and the USA marking almost every division’s best fighters.

There have been a total of 49 American title holders along with 12 Brazilian title holders throughout the UFC’s history.

The country that stands next in the championship standings is Canada where only three title holders and two of those have been Georges St. Pierre, who won the welterweight title twice.

The rest of the world makes up for the rest of the title wins and for the UFC that is only three more.

There has never been an Asian champion or a champion from anywhere other than Brazil in South America while any other country or region represents a fraction of the fighter roster.

All the countries in Europe have made up a larger number of the fighter roster with some very popular fighters.

Still they have only managed to take three titles throughout the history of the UFC matching a country that has put a lot less fighters on the UFC roster.

The first of those European champions is a legend and a new addition to the UFC Hall of Fame, Bas Ruten, who took the heavyweight title in 1999.

Only a month later he vacated the title making it a short run as the first European champion in UFC history.

Years later Andrei Arlovski took the interim heavyweight title and became the undisputed champion only a few months later.

He could not hold the title for very long earning one title defence and holding the title for under a year.

It had been a long time since Arlovski as 2005 marked the last time a European held a title in the UFC but seemingly out of nowhere a new European champion emerged.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk became the third European champion in the UFC’s newest division after emerging as one of the best strawweights in the world.

After Carla Esparza won The Ultimate Fighter tournament to earn the first ever UFC Women’s Strawweight Title, Jędrzejczyk beat the former Invicta champion to make her own mark on the new division.

She had been a part of the second fight in UFC strawweight history and quickly had people talking about the potential to be a championship contender.

Later she took on Cláudia Gadelha who had won the first ever strawweight fight and once again looked impressive.

That last fight was the title contender match and after The Ultimate Fighter finished with Esparza coming out on top Jędrzejczyk had her chance to earn a title for Europe.

Heading into that fight it was an experienced champion who had ruled the all-women’s promotion and now the UFC in the lightest weight class, against the woman who seemed to come out of nowhere.

Most had Esparza taking the title and remaining a champion while moving on to be the latest dominant champion in the new division.

Jędrzejczyk had other plans though as she took the win with a TKO in the second round in her most impressive win of her short UFC career.

Now the third European champion in UFC history looks to continue her time at the top of the strawweight division and becoming the longest reining European champion in UFC history.

The mark is set at 246 days, the amount of days that Arlovski served as the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Jędrzejczyk currently sits at 92 days as the champion but has yet to defend her title, Arlovski defended once.mma-sidebar.fw

She hopes that Jessica Penne will be the fighter that gets her to match the longest reigning European champion.

Penne was one of the Ultimate Fighter contestants and was very impressive on the show after beating Angela Magana and Aisling Daly in the first two rounds.

She couldn’t get by eventual winner, Esparza, in the third round of the show after a close fight that went to a sudden victory round.

She entered the UFC with a win over Randa Markos in The Ultimate Fighter Finale with a Split Decision.

That turned out to be enough to earn the title shot in the strawweight division where every fight can change the look of the division.

The two fighters will represent a classic battle in MMA as Penne represents the wrestling prowess of fighters while Jędrzejczyk is the striker.

Jędrzejczyk has a background in Muay Thai and boxing showing that prowess in here title challenge earning a TKO against Esparza.

Penne has shown some power in earning a TKO over Lisa Ellis while at Invicta but her submission skills were shown from there, earning three submissions in her last three Invicta fights.

These two styles will clash in the title fight in Berlin as Jędrzejczyk looks to represent not only Poland but all of Europe as a champion while Penne tries to take the belt back to the USA.

Both fighters are sure to try to put the fight where they want it but for Jędrzejczyk that is a lot easier said than done.

Jędrzejczyk has already beat a world-class wrestler in Esparza and will do the same thing to Penne as she will earn the TKO in round 2 to remain the strawweight champion.


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