On Friday night Joanna Jedrzejczyk (12-0) was able to defend her belt in not only the fight of the night, but possibly a fight of the year candidate against Claudia Gadelha (13-2). This was the third time defending her strap, as well as increasing her winning streak to six wins inside the Octagon. With her fight falling in the middle of the three consecutive events, it is easy for her performance to get lost, especially with the very next day being UFC 200, debatably the biggest event in the promotions history.

Joanna Champion was one of the biggest stars of this weekend, facing adversity by getting dropped in the first round as well as getting taken down and losing the second round, likely being down two rounds on judges’ scorecards. Going into that third round, it looked as if Jedrzejczyk needed a finish to retain her title and she went out there and completely changed the momentum of the fight around. As the fight progressed, so did her confidence, as she thrived in the championship rounds and began looking Muhammed Ali esque with the poise and tenacity she was showing. Joanna in rounds four and five dominated her opponent, outstriking her 75 to six in the fourth round and 52 to four in the fifth and final round, reconfirming why her nickname Joanna “Champion” fits her.

This performance was the biggest of her career thus far because she was able to finally put a close to the skeptics that believed she had lost her first fight to Gadelha that she won via split decision, earning her the title shot. Gadelha is considered the best fighter in the division besides the champion.

She put on the type of performance that gets people to start questioning “Is Joanna Jedrzejczyk the best female fighter alive?”
What you have to think about now is how many more title defenses will it take for her to be considered possibly the best female MMA fighter, surpassing Ronda Rousey. With no disrespect to Rousey, who is one of the pioneers of women’s mixed martial arts and one of the most popular athletes at the moment, it is time for people to start really looking at simply how amazing Jedrzejczyk truly is. Technically, Jedrzejczyk needs two more title defenses to tie the five title defenses that Rousey had but another thing that made Rousey so big is the way that the media covered her. After her most recent performance, Jedrzejczyk is most definitely going to begin to get the push of being the next superstar in the promotion, with talks of a new 125-pound women’s division being created where she would be able to become the first fighter to be a champion in multiple weight classes while holding both belts.

This wouldn’t be the first time Jedrzejczykhas made history, winning the title against Carla Esparza made her the first ever Polish champion. Her reign so far in the UFC has been so dominant, with many people believing she is the most dominant striker, male or female, currently in mixed martial arts.

Jedrzejczyk has stated that she really wants to get on the card at Madison Square Garden in New York that is going to be as big of an event for the promotion at UFC 200 was. I believe that getting her on that card defending her belt would be huge for her as well as gain her a lot more exposure. The next fight for her that makes most sense is to face the winner of Rose Namajunas vs Karolina Kawalkiewicz, who are currently the only worthy competitors really left in the division.

Joanna “Champion” Jedrzejczyk is the future of this sport and I truly believe that by 2017 people will be able to confidently answer the question “who is the best female fighter alive?” You tell us.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.

  • Yes Indeed

    Ronda still has feats that won’t be surpassed in her 12 straight finishes. fastest title finish, most title fight finishes in UFC history etc. but Joanna is going to surpass her in title defenses. she is going to surpass her as the best female in MMA if Ronda doesn’t come back and get the Holm win. though if Joanna becomes the first two division champ to hold and defends two belts the discussion ends. especially if she remains undefeated for another two or three fights at least. Joanna will be #1. she has already far surpassed Rousey in one way, coming back from behind and dominating after being in hard spots in fights. the first hard fight, the first real fight Ronda was in since Liz Carmouche she got destroyed and made to look like an amateur against Holly Holm.

    • docu.mar.co@gmail.com

      11 of ronda’s finishes are armbars. She is a judo champ. So she hiptosses girls and armbars.
      She cant throw a punch to save her live, and her JuJitsu is not good

      • BoiiMcFly

        Didn’t she knock out Correia though?

        • Jake Schneider

          She has three very impressive first round finishes via strikes, Sara Mcmann with a knee to the body, Alexis Davis in 16 seconds, and Bethe Correira in 34 seconds. Dont think its fair to say that she can’t throw a punch to save her life since she has finishes 3 title defenses via strikes, just a matter of her getting exposed in her last fight against Holm by thinking her striking can compete against an elite striker in Holly Holm..

  • Daniel Elton

    No yet, but she may be, especially if she defends her title a couple more times at 115lbs and captures another at 125lbs. I believe JJ is a more complete fighter than Rhonda, who’s striking was very primitive. I also think that Joanna’s Champion opposition has been of higher quality, especially Gadelha. Lastly, the media hype is not relevant to this question at all. One reason is that much of the hype is generated by the US media based on whether the fighter is US based and on whether they think they can sell other products with the fighter’s name. This has zip to do with fighting ability and fighting accomplishments.

    • Jake Schneider

      I agree but the UFC as a promotion as well as the media are a huge part of what creates fighters into becoming superstars. The biggest names in the sport are Rousey, Mcgregor, etc… and they don’t become a star just based off of their talent but also the promotional push that they receive. Of course if Joanna goes on to win her next several fights and break records that is what is going to really make her the best possible fighter, but after her last performance she is going to be getting a lot more exposure from the promotion, which comes hand in hand with breaking records and putting on impressive championship performances like she has been doing thus far.

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