Note: This was published before Valérie Létourneau received her title shot.
Right now in the UFC’s strawweight division there’s trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “V,” which stands for Valérie, specifically Canadian Valérie Létourneau.
Known as “Trouble,” Letourneau has been turning heads with her recent performances in the octagon. She defeated Maryna “The Iron Woman” Moroz, Aug. 23, giving the Ukrainian prospect the first blemish on her professional MMA record. Some fans and critics labeled Moroz as a possible contender after she submitted Scottish striking sensation, Joanne Calderwood, however Letourneau spoiled that.
Letourneau, who has won seven of her last eight fights, is 3-0 in her current UFC tenure. She came into the Moroz fight with wins over “TUF 18” finalist Jessica Rackoczy and Sikjisu prospect Elizabeth Phillips. The Canadian was a contestant on “TUF 18” before Roxanne Modafferi eliminated her in the fight to get into the “TUF” house.
There’s speculation that Létourneau is being considered for a shot at the UFC strawweight title. According to an article on Yahoo Sports, UFC President Dana White revealed that the promotion might have Letourneau face current strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the belt. Jedrzejczyk was set to face Claudia Gadelha, who has a split-decision over Létourneau, at UFC 195. The UFC women’s bantamweight title fight between “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm was scheduled to headline the Jan. 2, 2016, event. That fight was moved to UFC 193 to replace the welterweight title bout between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. The UFC has yet to confirm or deny these rumors.
I could see why the UFC would want to have Létourneau fight Jedrzejczyk for the title match instead of Gadelha. Létourneau is on a hot streak and she’s a fighter who has gone from fighting bantamweight to dropping down and having success at 115. The UFC is also on a trend of holding off on rematches. The promotion has held off on Rousey vs. Miesha Tate III, as well as Lawler vs. Johny Hendricks III. While Gadleha earned a title shot after defeating World Series of Fighting champion Jessica Aguilar, fans have already seen her fight Jedrzejczyk.
Létourneau has earned her place on the UFC roster and broken through the top 10 in the strawweight division. If she doesn’t get a crack at the champion right away, she’ll be fighting for gold if she continues her impressive winning streak.