Sources close to FloCombat have revealed that a UFC strawweight title fight is set to take place at the historic event, with the champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, taking on fellow Pole, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, in the first-ever all-European title fight inside the UFC Octagon.
Jedrzejczyk (12-0) and Kowalkiewicz (10-0) are both unbeaten as professionals and walk into the fight on hot streaks in the UFC. Jedrzejczyk is 6-0 in the eight-sided cage, while Kowalkiewicz has won all three of her contests there.
Jedrzejczyk last fought back in July, where she defeated her longtime rival Claudia Gadelha via unanimous decision at The Ultimate Fighter 23: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia finale. Prior to that, Jedrzejczyk won the belt in April 2015 against Carla Esparza at UFC 185, and then had successful defenses against Jessica Penne and Valerie Letourneau.
Her opponent Nov. 12 will be former KSW champion Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who debuted in the UFC in December 2015 at UFC on Fox 17: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone. That evening, she defeated Randa Markos and shortly after went on to put together two more victories -- one over Heather Jo Clark at UFC Fight Night Rotterdam and the other more recently over Rose Namajunas at UFC 199.
The two previously met in their amateur days in 2012, when Jedrzejczyk defeated Kowalkiewicz via submission in the Amatorska Liga MMA Tournament final. The two show respect for one another, but have said they'd like nothing more than to meet again. This time will be for the biggest prize of all on the line -- the UFC strawweight title.
The fight was first teased by UFC President Dana White following Kowalkiewicz's win over Namajunas in June, when he said it was the only title fight "that makes sense" and that the promotion was considering putting the title bout on in Poland.
The plan now, however, is to have the fight in New York City on the first card to take place in the Empire State since the ban on MMA was lifted in March. Currently, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is set to defend his title against Stephen Thompson at the event, while Donald Cerrone meets Kelvin Gastelum in a high-profile showdown. Also confirmed for the card are Jim Miller vs. Thiago Alves, Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens, Rashad Evans vs. Tim Kennedy, Tim Boetsch vs. Rafael Natal, and Liz Carmouche vs. Katlyn Chookagian.