UFC 193 is Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s time to shine. Basking in the glow cast by Ronda Rousey in the main event, Jedrezejczyk, defending her women’s strawweight title for the second time in the co-main event of the evening, will be on the biggest stage of her career — and she has an excellent opportunity to capitalize here, and generate real fan interest in the strawweight division.

The women’s strawweights came in strong on The Ultimate Fighter 20, which saw a season of mostly seasoned veterans enter the promotion, all signed to full-fledged UFC contracts, but vying for the newly created strawweight title. That made it a better season than most in recent memory, but due to the series already struggling to maintain relevant, it didn’t result in the ratings bonanza that might have been hoped for.

What it did do, however, was set the division up, and create some bonafide stars. Yet the biggest names in the division, arguably, VanZant, Gadelha, and Jedrezejczyk herself, didn’t come through the show, instead signing directly with the UFC and fighting while the show was still airing. That gave them a bit of a head start on the competition, and when Jedrzejczyk took the title from eventual TUF 20 winner Carla Esparza, she did it with such a statement win that it seemed she was light years ahead of the competition (minus, perhaps, a close split decision win against the aforementioned Gadelha).

At a perfect 10-0 as a pro, should Joanna Champion, as she’s now known, keep winning, expect to see comparisons with her bantamweight counterpart, Rousey.

The first step in that process will be to score a definitive win over challenger Valérie Létourneau at UFC 193 in Melbourne. To do so, here are some keys to victory.

Continue The Stellar Takedown Defense

The most surprising thing about Joanna Champion’s title fight with TUF 20 winner Carla Esparza was how good she looked against the best wrestler in the division. She continually stuffed a fighter known for stellar takedowns, and made it look like an art form. That needs to continue at UFC 193, but then, there’s no reason it shouldn’t. Létourneau would be wise to take this fight to the mat, but she doesn’t have the wrestling pedigree that Esparza does, so it’s unlikely that the champ should falter here.

Pinpoint Striking Accuracy

One of the scariest attributes of Joanna Jedrzejczyk is her pinpoint striking accuracy. She simply picks fighters apart. That will likely be on display again in Melbourne, just as it was in her first title defense against Jessica Penne. If she can put together a performance similar to the Esparza and Penne fights, she should be able to either keep her opponent at bay, or put her away.

Be Ruthless Without Being Reckless

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is scary good inside the octagon right now. She has been ruthless against the competition in her last two fights, and she needs to continue that trend at UFC 193 — without being reckless. It’s going to be tempting to make this a statement fight, given it may come in front of the biggest live crowd ever for a UFC event, but Jedrzejczyk needs to be careful not to try and force it, leaving herself open to a possible upset finish.

Coming in with a gameplan, executing, and sticking to it are key here. And she can absolutely make a statement at the same time, without taking unnecessary risks.

UFC 193 should be Jedrzejczyk’s coming out party. She has everything needed to be a star in the promotion. If she wins decisively against Létourneau, it’ll be her time to shine.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.