UFC Fort Lauderdale: Virna Jandiroba’s Chance for a Quick Title Shot

Virna Jandiroba UFC Fort Lauderdale
Virna Jandiroba vs Janaisa Morandin Credit: Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

Invicta FC strawweight champion Virna Jandiroba will look to make a splash in her Octagon debut against Carla Esparza at UFC Fort Lauderdale.

This weekend former Invicta FC champion Virna Jandiroba will make her debut in the UFC by taking on former champion Carla Esparza. Jandiroba enters the fight with an impressive undefeated record of 14-0. She is an accomplished BJJ-grappler and has a developed boxing game. In her career so far, she has managed to rack up wins over the likes of Mizuki Inoue and Janaisa Morandin. Apart from that, her performance against Amy Montenegro was perfect. She has already earned a reputation of being one of the best female submission artists in MMA. Entering the Octagon for the first time at UFC Fort Lauderdale, the 30-year-old will have a golden opportunity to create a quick path to the title.

Carla Esparza has a lot of name value in the MMA world. She is an experienced fighter and with wins over the likes of Cynthia Calvillo and Rose Namajunas, she has proven that dealing with her is not everyone’s cup of tea. If Jandiroba manages to put up a great performance, she’ll launch herself into the elites of the stacked strawweight division. In a division which is stacked with strong contenders, a highlight debut is the only thing that saves women from slogging their way to the top. An impressive debut over someone like Esparza is bound to get her the hype that is required to get to the top.

However, dealing with Esparza is not an easy job. Since losing to Randa Markos back in February 2017, Esparza has developed a strong stand-up game. It was with this striking that she managed to cause Claudia Gadelha to struggle and earn a decision win against Cynthia Calvillo. She enters the fight on a career low of a two-fight losing streak, but that should only make her more determined to get a win. It must be noted that Jandiroba has also not faced an elite wrestler. Going from Janaisa Morandin to Carla Esparza is a serious step-up too. All of this makes the match even more interesting.

If Jandiroba wants to create an impact, she cannot solely rely on not losing. She needs to give a strong performance. A performance which people can identify her with. If she is able to do so is something we’ll come to know this weekend.

UFC Fort Lauderdale will be live on ESPN+ in the USA, TSN 5 in Canada on April 27, and Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD in India on April 28.