Invicta Champion Virna Jandiroba Replaces Livia Renata Souza, Fights Carla Esparza at UFC Fort Lauderdale

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Virna Jandiroba vs. Mizuki Inoue Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

Undefeated Invicta FC champion Virna Jandiroba signs with the UFC, replaces Livia Renata Souza to fight former champion Carla Esparza at UFC Fort Lauderdale.

Virna Jandiroba will make her long-awaited UFC debut on short notice later this month. The 30-year old Brazilian faces the inaugural strawweight champion Carla Esparza after Esparza’s orginal opponent Livia Renata Souza had to withdraw due to injury, which was first reported by Combate. Jandiroba confirmed the news on her twitter account.

Jandiroba (14-0) is coming off a second-round submission victory over fellow prospect Janaisa Morandin at Invicta FC 31. The win over Morandin was Jandiroba’s first defence of the strawweight title, the title she won against Mizuki Inoue via split decision at Invicta FC 28 last March. Since her professional debut in 2013, Jandiroba has submitted 11 of her 14 opponents and went an impressive 3-0 in the Invicta cage.

Meanwhile, Carla Esparza (13-6) will be looking to get back on track in her professional career. “The Cookie Monster” had a rough 2018, going 0-2 inside the Octagon and losing two fights in a row for the first time in her nine-year career. First, she lost a close split decision to former title-challenger Claudia Gadelha at UFC 225. Then, Esparza was mauled by undefeated contender Tatiana Suarez at UFC 228 as she lost via third-round TKO. Esparza has a record of 4-4 inside the Octagon. She holds wins over current champion Rose Namajunas, Cynthia Calvillo and Maryna Moroz.

UFC on ESPN 3 takes place April 27 at the BB&T Center live from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The main event is in jeopardy currently, as Yoel Romero withdrew due to an illness. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Paulo Costa is reportedly in the works.

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