Georgian fighter Liana Jojua – the first woman to win an official MMA title in Russia – is the latest addition to the UFC’s female ranks after the 23-year-old bantamweight penned a contract with the sport’s leading promotion.
Tbilisi fighter Jojua became Russia’s first-ever female professional MMA title holder when she beat Marina Mokhnatkina via majority decision to claim the inaugural Fight Nights Global bantamweight championship in Moscow in February of last year.
She’s now stepping up to join the UFC big guns, and revealed the news to her 76,000 followers on Instagram on Wednesday.
“I signed a contact with the UFC. Thank you to everyone who made this happen. In the near future my first opponent and first fight will be clear,” she wrote in Russian.
Nicknamed ‘Mgeli’, which translates from Georgian as ‘She Wolf’, Jojua owns a record of seven wins and two losses.
She last appeared in the cage in February of 2018, when she defeated Marina Mokhnatkina via majority decision at a Fight Nights Global (FNG) event in Moscow.
Following a debut win in September 2015 Jojua suffered two defeats, but her MMA career has since gained momentum and she heads to the UFC on a five-fight win streak.
The 5ft 4in bantamweight represents Akhmat Fight Club, and given her Georgian background the youngster is unsurprisingly a strong grappler, clinching victory via submission in five of her seven wins.
She steps into a stacked UFC women’s bantamweight division with Brazilian bruiser Amanda Nunes at its apex, but also containing the Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie, America’s Holly Holm and Russia’s very own Yana Kunitskaya.