Since the announcement of her fight against Carla Esparza, I’ve been interested in finding out just who Joanna Jedrzejczyk is and why she deserves a shot at the womens Strawweight Title.
On the 12th of December 2014, Carla Esparza officially captured the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship Title by defeating Rose Namajunas in the finale of Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter. She will be defending her title for the first time against Women’s Strawweight standout Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
The more and more I read and watch about Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the more I become excited for this fight. I am always a sucker for awesome Muay Thai fighters in MMA and Joanna Jedrzejczyk is no exception. She started her fighting career in Muay Thai and is a WKN World Champion, J Girls Champion, WBKF Champion, WKF European Champion and the WMC Champion. In her amateur career, she was the 5-time IFMA Muay Thai amateur world champion and the 4-time IFMA Muay Thai European Champion.
Her perfect and deadly striking technique is on full display in the MMA cage especially in her most recent fights against Rosi Sexton, Julianna Lima and even her fight against Claudia Gadelha (full fight videos below).
Against Rosi Sexton, Joanna Jedrzejczyk shows aggressive and precise striking with slick footwork and movement. The most outstanding aspect of Jedrzejczyk in this fight is the amount of power she has for a 125 pound girl. In the first round, Jedrzejczyk knocked Rosi Sexton down with a counter right hook. Rosi Sexton with a clouded mind and rubbery legs survived the first round by hanging on to a single.
In the second round, Jedrzejczyk had Sexton backed up against the fence and finished her off with a brutally violent straight right.
Jedrzejczyk absolutely dominated and controlled the fight against a veteran of the sport, Rosi Sexton, who has wins over girls like Roxanne Modafferi and Aisling Daly.
After the fight against Rosi Sexton, Jedrzejczyk moved to the UFC Strawweight division were she started to fight at 115. Although many say that a weight cut can affect your power, Jedrzejczyk will likely still have the technique and experience advantage when it comes to striking.
Against Juliana Lima, Jedrzejczyk shows off her Muay Thai skills and wins the fight with crisp striking, tight combinations, a tactical overhand right and precision left jabs.
It wasn’t until her fight against Claudia Gadelha that we saw a big and obvious moment of weakness. In the first round, Jedrzejczyk delivered a beautiful and technical upper cut, knocking Claudia to the ground. From this we know that Jedrzejczyk still possesses her power, even at 115. Claudia was in trouble with Jedrzejczyk swarming her on the ground but was saved by the bell. In the subsequent two rounds, we saw Claudia out-wrestle and out-jiujitsu Jedrzejczyk. Although Jedrzejczyk won the fight in a controversial split decision, this fight exposed the weakness in her ground game.
These wins have promoted Jedrzejczyk up the ranks to be the third best Strawweight fighter in MMA. She is right behind her next opponent Carla Esparza and the great Jessica Aguilar. In Jedrzejczyk we have a phenomenal striker that needs work on the ground. Funny enough, wrestling and mat work is exactly Carla’s strength. The former college wrestler is most comfortable taking opponents down and in fact, won many of her fights with that game plan.
Her fight against Carla will only be her third fight in the UFC. At the same time Carla has technically (but not actually) defeated most of the top strawweight division contenders by winning The Ultimate Fighter season 20 competition. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is up next and this will certainly be an interesting and exciting grappler vs striker match-up.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rosi Sexton full fight video
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Julianna Lima full fight video
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha full fight video