Joanna Jedrzejczyk, born August 18, 1987, in Olsztyn, Poland, started studying Muai Thai as a teenager after discovering the martial art while taking a fitness class. She would eventually start competing in muay thai events and would go on to win over 60 events and six championships in a span of 10 years. She would then pursue a career in women’s MMA.

Jedrzejczyk made her professional début in mixed martial arts on May 19, 2012, at SFT – MMA Fight Night Diva SPA against Sylwia Juskiewicz, winning via unanimous decision. On Dec. 8, 2012m at MFC 5, she defeated Lily Kazak via submission (rear-naked choke). On June 20, 2013, at Battle of Moscow 12, she defeated the #1 Russian WMMA fighter Julia Berezikova via unanimous decision.

At the end of June 2013, Jędrzejczyk was ranked 7th in the world by Fightmatrix.com.

On June 7, 2014, at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 69, she defeated Rosi Sexton via knockout in the second round.

Jedrzejczyk would officially sign with the UFC in July 2014. She made her promotional début on July 26, 2014, at UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown against Juliana Lima. She won the fight via unanimous decision. Jdrzejczyk next faced undefeated strawweight top contender, Claudia Gadelha, on December 13, 2014, at UFC on Fox 13. She won the fight via split decision. A majority of the MMA media scored the bout in favor of Gadelha.

After the win, Jedzejczyk would get a title shot at the first ever strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, at UFC 185 in Dallas on March 14th, at the American Airlines Center. After battering the new champion with her amazing striking skills for the first round and stopping a total of 16 out of 17 take down attempts, Jedzejczyk would win the belt via TKO victory in the second round after the referee stopped the fight, becoming the first UFC title-holder from Poland and first female European UFC champion. Subsequently, Jedrzejczyk won a Performance of the Night bonus.

Next up for Jedzejczyk would be #3 ranked strawweight Jessica Penne, on June 20, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 69. Once again, the striking of Jedzejczyk would prove to be to much for a very game Penne. From the opening bell, Jedzejczyk was coming in at all angles with elbows, fierce striking, and kicks from every direction that would leave Penne bloodied and battered. Heading into the second round, Penne looked to be weathered and beaten as Jedzejczyk continued her assult. In the third round the referee had seen enough and called a stop to the fight, making Jedzejczyk the first ever womens strawweight champion to defend her belt inside of the Octagon.

The thing about Jedzejczyk is that she seems to be on a completely different level when it comes to striking. To see the take down defense coupled with the way she mixes kicks, elbows, and devastating strikes is a thing of beauty and can only be compared to Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit. At this point in time, I do not feel that there are any women in the strawweight division that even have a remote chance of beating her. So put a nice girl next door attitude coupled with killer instincts and amazing fighting skills, we have a new face of women’s MMA on our hands.

Ronda Rousey has paved the way for womens MMA, but there has not been another women in the UFC that has what it takes to be a great champion. I see the undefeated Polish champion holding the belt indefinitely as she is truly  one of a kind.

About The Author

Jeremiah York
Staff Writer

In 1993 at 16 years old my Mom let me order UFC #1 on PPV. Then and there my life changed! To find a sport that put man against man, skill against skill in the rawest form was absolutely amazing! My love for MMA was found and I have been following all aspects of Combat Sports since. If I'm not traveling to watch fights I am studying and catching up on everything MMA at home. I am a Denver Native, but I live in TX now where the fight scene is booming! When I'm not watching and dissecting fights I'm out in the market selling beer as the TX Area Sales Manager for Uinta Brewing.

  • Turok

    lol “Jdrzejczyk next faced undefeated strawweight top contender, Claudia Gadelha. She won the fight via split decision. A majority of the MMA media scored the bout in favor of Gadelha” then goes on to say “I do not feel that there are any women in the strawweight division that even have a remote chance of beating her”.