UFC 211: Back in Dallas, Joanna Jedrzejczyk still a superstar-in-waiting

Jon Durr  Zuffa LLC  Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Pretty much everybody that fought her before, once Joanna put pressure they would walk back. She does not finish her fights in 14 seconds.

To get there, the 29-year-old, who has adopted the moniker of "Joanna Champion", believes she will need to do two things: break Rousey's UFC women's record of six title defenses and win a championship in a second division.

She has a thick accent, which might be a turn-off for some - awful - fans, but her English is excellent and Jedrzejczyk is always a great quote. But the news was released prematurely, according to UFC president Dana White, who said the company hasn't officially signed off on it.

If she manages to get by Andrade, it's possible Jedrzejczyk has an even bigger fight waiting for her against perennial contender Rose Namajunas.

"A year ago, I said that I wanted to be a champion in two different divisions and people were like, 'Oh, Joanna is going a little bit insane, ' because I was talking about [125 pounds]", Jedrzejczyk said during last week's UFC 211 media day.

Before she was UFC champion, Jedrzejczyk was a multi-time title holder in Muay Thai kickboxing and she's translated her striking art to mixed martial arts where she's become one of the most fearsome stand up fighters in the world.

Letourneau challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight title.




"I'm one of the only undefeated champions, which is fantastic, because a year ago was very insane for other UFC champions", she told Sporting News.

In total, belts changed hands 11 times, meaning just three champions kept their title reigns intact for the entire 12 months.

Jedrzejczyk should have been positioned as the heir apparent to Rousey - the next great dominant force on the female side of the sport - heading into their tandem title defences at UFC 193; it was an easy way to combine the final two fights on the November 2014 card in Melbourne and introduce the strawweight champ to a larger audience, and the UFC dropped the ball. [Moving up] is going to take like a year, but I like to break the records with every fight. Whatever the Octagon or place we are, I'll be well prepared. A fighter needs to go in thinking, 'I'm going to win. It also wouldn't necessarily be bad for Jedrzejczyk in the long run.

More important than the wins, though, is the skill-set she possesses. Andrade was comfortable standing with me, but if she does decide to go to the ground, she has strong takedowns. Yet like all great fighters she knows that there is more theatrics to be had, and taken advantage of, before the cage door closes. For starters, she started her career as a 135-pound bantamweight so she has to cut a lot to make the 115-pound limit. "I have seen is so many times and can see that my opponents are scared". Jessica is a very unsafe opponent. There's probably no other strawweight that has the power and strength that I have and that's going to show in the fight.

That doesn't mean Jedrzejczyk isn't excited about her favorite moment of fight week and something she first drew recognition from in the UFC. (She said) that she couldn't tell by looking, but when she trained with me, she saw I really was very strong.

Within the bubble, Jedrzejczyk is revered for her talent, tenacity and temerity. "Honestly, the way I see it, I'm going to get a knock out before the third round".

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