November 13, 2015

Champion's Reach: Joanna Jedrzejczyk Looks To Build Her Name and Extend Her Reign At UFC 193

By Raphael Garcia

As UFC 193 draws closer, the Ronda Rousey hype machine is in full force. Cameras and reporters follow her every move to ask about her upcoming fight with Holly Holm and any other controversial topic they can address. However, there is another champion who has the opportunity to grab headlines this Saturday night: UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. But the woman who calls herself “Joanna Champion” is in a completely different spot than her bantamweight colleague.

If Rousey is the swift executioner, then Jedrzejczyk should be considered the brutal executioner. Her style of fighting is designed to bring pain to her opponents through barrages of punches. Mainstream MMA fans tend to scream for blood and violence whenever they watch events, and the champion gladly obliges.

One only has to look back to her previous fights in 2015 for examples of how she’s battered her opponents. She wrecked Carla Esparza to take the title at UFC 185, and then followed that up with a brutal mercy stoppage over Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night 69. She gives the fans the violence they want, and seems to truly enjoy doing it.

Jedrzejczyk is a marvel in the cage when it comes to technique. She is a ten-time Muay Thai champion and it shows whenever she competes. Her striking is so crisp and fluid that it draws comparisons to Rousey’s ability to use Judo in MMA. Only Claudia Gadelha has shown any ability to match her dynamism on the feet, but even she was dropped by a thudding uppercut.

Her FightMetric report shows just how impressive Jedrzejczyk is whenever she fights. She lands a whopping 4.9 significant strikes per minute, 43 percent of the shots she throws, all the while avoiding 71 percent of the strikes coming from her opponents. In her strawweight title bouts, she outstruck her opponents by a margin of 179-29. It will be interesting to see if she can do the same against other technical strikers such as Michelle Waterson if that fight happens in the future, but right now she clearly has some of the best striking in mixed martial arts, regardless of gender.

Saturday night’s title challenger Valerie Letourneau is far from the division’s top contender, and she may find herself being fed to Jedrzejczyk as an opportunity to not only build the champion’s brand, but that of the division as a whole. While fighters such as Gadelha, Waterson, and Paige VanZant may be on the cusp of title contention, the champion is becoming more of a fan favorite after each outing. UFC 193 may be the Rousey show, but “Joanna Champion” is a star in the making looking to build that stardom upon another strong performance in the Octagon.

UFC 193
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valerie Letourneau (UFC Women's Strawweight Championship)

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.


UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm (formerly UFC 193: Lawler vs. Condit) takes place on November 14, 2015 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 193 will be.


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