Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha I, UFC on Fox, 13 December 2014
Two of the most dynamic and dangerous female fighters. Joanna and Claudia go head to head in a tightly contested match-up. This is the fight where Joanna beat Claudia via a controversial split decision and earned an opportunity to fight for the UFC Womens Strawweight title. It was this fight that opened up the path for Joanna’s success we see today.
Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha are set to fight again at The Ultimate Fighter season 23 finale on 8 July 2016. The result of their first meeting was so controversial that it’s best for fight fans to watch and determine for themselves.
Claudia Gadelha likely has the best BJJ in the Womens Strawweight division. She is a tough fighter that trains out of Nova Uniao. With team mates like Jose Aldo and Renan Barao, she has the background and the skills to be a world champion. Earlier in her career, Claudia was finishing her fights with armbars. She also earned a few wins via TKO showing that she is not only dangerous on the ground but also has the striking skills to be a complete MMA fighter.
Joanna Jedrzejcyk on the other hand is a world class kickboxer. She is a highly decorated champion in both kickboxing and Muay Thai. Her technique and ferociousness in the cage makes her an extremely scary opponent. She earned her way into the UFC with a knockout win against the tough veteran Rosi Sexton.
Joanna Jedrzejcyk vs Claudia Gadelha I can be viewed as a classic match up between a striker and grappler. And during the fight, that’s exactly what happened. Claudia did everything she could to get Joanna to the mat where she could execute her high level BJJ game. What surprised many fight fans was how good Joanna’s take down and BJJ defense was. For a classic striker of high calibre it was amazing how Joanna was able to make it so difficult for Claudia to execute her game plan.
At the end of the fight, it seemed that Claudia was the aggressor. She was able to get Joanna to the ground. Although she wasn’t able to get a submission, she controlled Joanna for most of the fight. With the exception of a near KO in the first round, it seemed that Claudia neutralized Joanna’s striking with a grinding wrestling approach. Joanna was also able to neutralize Claudia’s BJJ with unexpectedly good defense.
It was this win that gave Joanna the opportunity to win the championship and become the star she is today. However the split decision could have easily gone to Claudia and Claudia would have had the opportunity to become champion, that is if she beat Carla Esparza.
2 years later in 2016, the two have the opportunity to fight again. Claudia has earned her BJJ blackbelt and made huge improvements in her striking. Her win over the aggressive and dangerous Jessica Aguilar proves she is the top of the division. Joanna likely has had more time to work on her wrestling as well. With both fighters greatly improved, Joanna Jedrzejcyk vs Claudia Gadelha II is likely to be an awesome fight and I can’t wait to see it.
For now lets enjoy Joanna Jedrzejcyk vs Claudia Gadelha I.
Joanna Jedrzejcyk vs Claudia Gadelha I full fight video