UFC 231 features a co-main event of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko, which could be considered one of the best matchup in women’s MMA history.

When you talk about the women’s side of MMA, you’re talking about a side that started getting attention barely 10-15 years ago. Despite being home to some of the most popular female athletes, women’s MMA is still at a very young stage. Women got their first break in the MMA world way back in the early 2000s when Megumi Fujii started competing on major mainstream Japanese MMA shows. The second major wave of attention came when Gina Carano gained popularity in America. Female fighters finally cemented their place in the mainstream sporting world when Ronda Rousey became a global superstar. Compared to other combat sports, like pro-boxing, women in the MMA world saw a meteoric rise in popularity and is one of the few sports where both men and women are paid almost equally.

While women saw this quick growth in terms of popularity in growth and recognition, they also produced some amazing matches. Fights like Cat Zinagno vs. Miesha Tate, Tate vs. Ronda Rousey 2, Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha 2, Jessica Andrade vs. Gadelha and many more. However, one of these fights bring in the accolades the UFC 231 co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko, brings. The closest would probably be Ronda Rousey, former Olympic Bronze medalist, taking on Holly Holm, one of the best female pro boxers of all time. However, even those two didn’t bring credentials as amazing as that of Joanna and Valentina when talking in terms of MMA. For one, Holm was a big underdog in the fight and wasn’t considered amongst the best female fighters. Plus, Holm didn’t have any big win on her record when she faced Rousey. Rousey, on the other hand, was at the peak of her hype, which in hindsight looks unwarranted. Some of the statements like her being capable of defeating male fighters wer outright ridiculous.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk enters the fight with a record of 14-2. She is the longest reigning and most successful women’s strawweight champion. She has wins over the likes of Claudia Gadelha, Carla Esparza, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Jessica Andrade, and Tecia Torres to name a few. She has also had a decorated Muay Thai career, where she managed to win IFMA World Championships five times. In the great majority of her fights, she has also managed to outstrike all of her opponents by a great margin and has displayed amazing takedown defense.

Facing her is Valentina Shevchenko, who brings her own amazing credentials to the sport. She stands with a record of 15-3, which includes wins over the likes of Sarah Kaufman, Holly Holm, and Julianna Pena. She also had a decorated striking career in which she has not one, not two, but three wins over Jedrzejczyk. She doesn’t really have a great record in MMA on paper, but her striking is considered amongst the best in all of MMA. She has chiseled and on-point striking. Her ground game is very advanced and has managed to submit even trained BJJ artists like Julianna Pena in fights.

The two bring amazing fight IQ to the game. They are known for being patient and are very experienced martial artist. This fight does stand-out as one of the most decorated fights in the history of women’s MMA.

UFC 231 takes place Saturday, December 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The card airs exclusively on PPV in North America after televised and online prelims, and on BT Sport in the UK. In India, the card airs on Sunday, December 9, live on SONY TEN 2 and SONY TEN 2 HD.