Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha II, UFC TUF 23 Finale, 8 July 2016
Fight of the Night
In a July weekend full of incredible fights, we have Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha II. Personally, this is the fight that I have been looking forward to most. A striker versus grappler match-up between a world-class kick boxer and a tough well-rounded Nova Uniao product.
There has always been doubt in my mind over who won Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha I. Joanna started the fight with a great knockdown in the first round. Then Claudia was able to grapple and take Joanna down for the rest of the fight. Since Joanna won the fight she had the opportunity to fight Carla Esparza for the championship. If Claudia won that fight, she would have gotten the fight against Carla. If she was able to capture the belt from Carla, things would be very different.
Now we get to see the two ladies fight again. Finally to settle who the better fighter is.
Joanna has proved herself to be one of the most dangerous fighters in MMA. I’m not just talking about her technical skills and her abilities. Not even referring to the grappling and ground skills she has picked up since turning to MMA. The dangerous part of Joanna is her mindset. Part of her mindset was displayed on the TUF 23 show. The way she trained her team, the way she talked to her team. We are talking about someone who lives and breathes fighting. Someone who is so disciplined and devoted, there is no room for softness. Her training is slightly reminiscent of all the stereotypes of soviet union sports. This is who Joanna is and where she comes from.
Claudia on the other hand shows a more warm and friendly side on TUF 23. She comes from the famous Nova Uniao camp and has training partners in Jose Aldo and Renan Barao. They train like crazy with a lot of success. But when it comes to mental toughness, I might have to give it to Joanna. At the end of the season, Claudia definitely comes out as the nicer and better individual. Her method definitely makes her more popular with the fighters in the house and perhaps with the armchair fighters following the show. I can’t help but think that if the fighters subscribed to Joanna’s training and competing mindset, the team could have done a little better.
Since their first fight, Joanna has used her kickboxing to destroy top Strawweight competitors. She has picked up ground skills but still relies heavily on her stand-up. Claudia on the other hand has only had one fight against the very tough Jessica Aguilar.
In the first fight, Claudia may have edged out a victory by taking Joanna down and implementing a mixture between a lay and pray and ground and pound strategy. Claudia may not be able to take Joanna down as easily this time around. If Claudia can’t get the take down and keep Joanna on the ground, she is in for a very challenging standup fight with a kickboxing champion.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha II full fight video