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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018

UFC title bout to take place in Europe for the first time in over two years

It’s happening in Berlin on 20 June.

UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Image: Jeff Chiu

Updated at 20.30

THERE’S SOME GOOD news and bad news for Ultimate Fighting Championship fans today.

The UFC have announced that an injury has forced Swedish light-heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson  to withdraw from his bout against Glover Teixeira, which was due to headline UFC Berlin on 20 June.

Instead, however, the main event will see Joanna Jedrzejczyk make the first defence of her UFC women’s strawweight title. The Polish star has been booked to face American challenger Jessica Penne, in what will be the first UFC title fight to take place in Europe outside of the UK.

This time last year, Jedrzejczyk had yet to make her debut for Cage Warriors, but the undefeated 27-year-old has since taken the UFC by storm. She picked up her third straight win for the promotion in March by dethroning Carla Esparza by second-round KO to become only the third ever UFC champion from Europe.

Penne featured on last year’s all-female season of The Ultimate Fighter and made a successful UFC debut in December when she took a split-decision win over Randa Markos, who defeated Ireland’s Aisling Daly last weekend. A 32-year-old native of California, Penne had been set to fight Juliana De Lima Carneiro in Brazil on 30 May.

There was no mention of whether a replacement opponent will be sought for Glover Teixeira in the official UFC announcement.

The cancellation of the Gustafsson/Teixeira bout is a timely blow to both fighters, who would have been particularly keen — following the suspension of former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones earlier this week — to catapult themselves back into title contention.

Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier will compete for the vacant 205lbs belt in the main event at UFC 187 in Las Vegas on 23 May.

– First published at 12.17

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Paul Dollery

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