Jennifer Maia’s next fight will be for UFC gold, Dana White announced after UFC Vegas 5.
In the co-main event, Maia was taking on short-notice replacement, Joanne Calderwood, who was set to fight Valentina Shevchenko for the title. Yet, the Scottish fighter decided to take another fight. But, it didn’t pay off as she was submitted in the first round.
With Calderwood losing, many wondered what would be next for Shevchenko. After the fight, the champ seemed to know what she wanted next.
According to White, that is the plan now to book Shevchenko vs. Maia for the title, and hopefully have it later this year.
“Yeah, that’s the fight. I have a lot of respect for [Joanne Calderwood], she’s been working hard, taking her career very serious and has been back on track since she moved to Vegas. Jennifer looked damn good tonight. So, it makes sense for her and Valentina to fight,” White said at the post-fight press conference.
Jennifer Maia returned to the win column on Saturday night after dropping a decision to Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 244 in the fight before. Before that, she earned decision win over Roxanne Modafferi and Alexis Davis. But, the problem for the Brazilian is her weight as she missed weight for the Modafferi and Chookagian bouts.
Maia is the former Invicta FC flyweight champ, so she has experience going five rounds. Whether or not she will be the one to dethrone Shevchenko is to be seen. But, all signs point to that being the next fight.