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UFC champions history: Women's strawweights

Zhang Weili celebrates her win by decision over

Zhang Weili celebrates her win by decision over Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the women's strawweight championship bout at UFC 248 on Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Las Vegas. Credit: AP/L.E. Baskow

The UFC added a women's strawweight division at the end of 2013, with the first 115-pound champion to be determined by the winner of the 20th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Here’s the path of that championship belt.

Carla Esparza

Successful title defenses: 0

In Season 20 of "The Ultimate Fighter," the first season to feature all female fighters, Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas in the final to win the season and be crowned the UFC's inaugural champion of the new 115-pound strawweight division on Dec. 12, 2014.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Successful title defenses: 5

Joanna Jedrzejczyk stopped Carla Esparza, who was making her first title defense, in the second round via TKO at UFC 185 on March 14, 2015 in Dallas. Jedrzejczyk, from Poland, defended her title successfully five times en route to becoming one of the pound-for-pound best fighters. She was 14-0 before losing to Rose Namajunas at UFC 217.

Rose Namajunas

Successful title defenses: 1

Rose Namajunas landed a first-round knockout for the upset win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win the strawweight title at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 4, 2017. She then beat Jedrzejczyk in the rematch at UFC 223 for her first and only title defense.

Jessica Andrade

Successful title defenses: 0

Jessica Andrade lost the first round to Rose Namajunas and was reeling to open the second round after several solid jabs. But she was able to lift up Namajunas and drive her into the canvas. Namajunas landed on her head, and Andrade won the title via knockout at 2:58 of the second round at UFC 237 in her home country of Brazil on May 11, 2019.

Zhang Weili

Successful title defenses: 1

She needed all of 42 seconds to become the first UFC champion from China when she beat Andrade by TKO in Shenzhen, China, on Aug. 31, 2019. In her first title defense at UFC 248 in March 2020, she and Jedrzejczyk engaged in a five-round epic clash that left many onlookers calling it the greatest fight every. Zhang won by split decision.

New York Sports