It’s looking more and more as if the UFC made the right call by calling take-backs on Claudia Gadelha’s promised rematch with strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Gadelha—who was originally rumored to face the champion on Jan. 2 at UFC 195 and fought valiantly to retain her rematch when Jedrzejczyk’s title defense was moved to UFC 193 in November—will reportedly be out until February, UFC Tonight reported Wednesday.
According to Gadelha’s team, ligament damage suffered onto her hand is still preventing her from making a closed fist—naturally complicating her fight preparations.
The news follows a then-controversial decision from the UFC to replace Gadelha with freshly ranked Valerie Letourneau. Gadelha initially took to social media to deny rumors that she would not be ready to fight Jedrzejczyk, whether the title bout took place in November or January.
Jedrzejczyk and Letourneau now get their time to shine on what will arguably be the biggest stage in the history of the promotion (likely for attendance; possibly for buyrate, too) and certainly the biggest stage of their pro careers. The pair of 115-pound women will co-headline a card for the biggest star in the sport, fellow female MMA fighter Ronda Rousey.
There’s no word on whether the extended layoff will impact Gadelha’s status as the top contender upon her return.