Ronda Rousey had – and continues to have – Miesha Tate.
She’s also been pushed to the forefront by incredible fighters and “personalities” such as Liz Carmouche, Cat Zingano and now, Bethe Correia.
As dominant and strong as Rousey’s been, her fellow UFC female champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, has shined just as brightly in 2015.
But can she continue to match Rousey and grow even bigger as the calendar turns?
That’s up to the UFC.
For Jedrzejczyk to become the kind of draw that Rousey has, she’ll need the rest of the strawweight division to catch up.
The Ultimate Fighter 20 did a great job of bringing to the forefront the likes of Carla Esparza, Felice Herrig, Bec Rawlings, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres and others. But, that can only go so far.
Jedrzejczyk has become a strong force in her two fights involving the UFC title, as she completely wiped the Octagon with Esparza and followed that up by doing the same vs. Jessica Penne most recently.
To show just how much the promotion values the Polish fighter, Jedrzejczyk was placed in a main event – albeit on Fight Pass and from Germany – in just her fourth Octagon appearance. Not bad for someone who’s only really competed professionally for a few years.
Thankfully, Jedrzejczyk has the full support of not only the UFC, but Rousey, who expressed her appreciation for the champion after her victory over Penne.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) June 20, 2015
Along with the previously mentioned list of Top-10 strawweights, Paige VanZant, Maryna Moroz, Joanna Calderwood and Randa Markos are incredible talents that only make the division even better.
One key component that remains out there for Jedrzejczyk to really make a splash on the mainstream market is Claudia Gadelha. The Brazilian fought the champion to a split decision, and many left the bout’s result thinking that Gadelha won.
Gadelha could easily become the “Tate” in the relationship with Rousey that helped spark an incredible turn-up for women’s MMA.