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Liana Jojua: Story of the Georgian MMA star

LockerRoom Team
11 July 2023

Liana Jojua, born on March 22, 1995, is an MMA fighter hailing from Georgia.

Competing in both the flyweight and bantamweight divisions, Jojua has showcased her skills and determination in various promotions, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). She holds the distinction of being the inaugural and former Fight Nights Global Women's Bantamweight Champion, adding to her impressive resume.

Inspiration from Gina Carano

Jojua's interest in MMA sparked when she witnessed the fights of Gina Carano as a 16-year-old. Inspired by Carano's performances, Jojua delved into the world of martial arts and began her journey in Muay Thai. She made her professional MMA debut in September 2015, marking the beginning of her promising career. While she faced setbacks early on, experiencing a two-fight losing streak in 2016, Jojua soon found her rhythm and embarked on a remarkable five-fight win streak. The pinnacle of her success during this period came when she secured the FNG Women's Bantamweight Championship by defeating Marina Mokhnatkina.

Debuting in the UFC

Jojua's UFC debut took place on September 7, 2019, at UFC 242, where she faced Sarah Moras. During the weigh-ins, Moras failed to make weight, coming in at 138 lbs, two pounds over the bantamweight non-title fight limit. As a result, she was fined 20% of her fight purse, which went to Jojua, and the bout proceeded at a catchweight. Unfortunately, Jojua suffered a defeat via TKO in the third round.

Undeterred, Jojua returned to the octagon on July 16, 2020, at UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs. Ige, where she faced Diana Belbiţă. Demonstrating her grappling prowess, Jojua secured an impressive victory via an armbar submission in the first round, showcasing her resilience and skill set.

In her next UFC outing, Jojua faced Miranda Maverick on October 24, 2020, at UFC 254. Despite her best efforts, she encountered a setback, losing the fight via technical knockout in the first round.

Jojua was set to face Cortney Casey on August 21, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 29. However, due to visa issues, Jojua was unable to compete, and the matchup had to be cancelled. The bout was rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 197 on November 13, 2021. However, at the weigh-ins, Jojua weighed in at 128.5 pounds, two and a half pounds over the flyweight non-title fight limit. Consequently, the bout proceeded at a catchweight, with Jojua receiving a 30% fine from her purse, which was awarded to her opponent Casey. Despite her efforts, Jojua lost the bout via unanimous decision.

Release from the UFC

Following this loss, it was announced that Jojua had been released from the UFC. However, she didn't let the setback dampen her spirit, as she made her first appearance post-UFC release on May 20, 2022, facing Dariya Zheleznyakova at Ares FC 6. Despite her best efforts, Jojua came up short, losing the bout via unanimous decision.

Liana Jojua's journey in mixed martial arts has been filled with both victories and defeats. As she continues to grow as a fighter, her passion for competition remains unwavering. With her skill set and determination, Jojua is poised to make an impact in future fights, showcasing her talents in various promotions and continuing to pursue her dreams in the world of MMA.

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