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

12 May, 2017, 03:07 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Jon Durr  Zuffa LLC  Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

"Watching her fight with "Claudinha" (Gadelha) and Karolina (Kowalkiewicz), you can see many flaws", Andrade added.

Now looking to defend her title successfully for the fifth time since winning it in March 2015, the 29-year-old says it would be "amazing" to equal Rousey's record of six title defences. Kowalkiewicz was gunshy - much like Eddie Alvarez was at UFC 205 vs. McGregor - because she knew that Jedrzejczyk would beat her to the punch. She's a great striker, she walks forward. But the news was released prematurely, according to UFC president Dana White, who said the company hasn't officially signed off on it.

It's probably a little reductive to argue that the only reason superstardom has eluded Jedrzejczyk is fans reacting badly to her trash-talk, but it's equally hard to put your finger on the reasons why she hasn't crossed over into the mainstream sports world's consciousness.

Andrade stands in the Polish champion's way and Jedrzejczyk acknowledges that the Brazilian will arguably be her hardest test in the division. "[I know] that I can submit her and I can knock her out [in training], but the fight is different".

Jedrzejczyk, just the second fighter to hold the UFC's strawweight championship, is well on her way toward becoming one of the greatest female fighters of all time. Joanna is particularly good at those things, so I'm expecting her to sting Andrade a few times as she charges in.

"It's all about the person who is trying to step on my toe, I'm not a bully person", Jedrzejczyk said.

If the two fighters did a reasonably good job selling a rivalry and it could be billed as the event where Jedrzejczyk was out to tie Rousey's record, it could be a modest success for all involved.

Nobody in the strawweight division is going to top Jedrzejczyk's hand speed, so the woman who beats her will have to take a punch to throw a punch. Whatever the Octagon or place we are, I'll be well prepared. "That's the place that made me the fighter I am today".

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Jedrzejczyk's game is also more well-rounded.

More important than the wins, though, is the skill-set she possesses.

The champion once bought Andrade a pair of MMA gloves and now Andrade is using them as she trains for her upcoming title bout.

"She's an elegant person, she's an unbelievable athlete and has done so much for this sport".

She was a -900 favorite against Jessica Penne, -2200 against Valerie Letourneau, -145 against Claudia Gadelha and -450 against Karolina Kowalkiewicz. I know there's probably no one at strawweight that is as strong as I am. We must put in good work to become a champion. But while she certainly respects what Andrade brings to the fight, Jedrzejczyk also learned a few things about her from sparring. Jessica is a very risky opponent.

"She's short, she came down from the 135 division, her upper body is very muscular and like everyone from Brazil, she has good Jiu Jitsu and good takedowns". There's probably no other strawweight that has the power and strength that I have and that's going to show in the fight. I think it'll be about making the most of the opportunities. Andrade has outrageously strong ground-and-pound and will surely have the advantage on the mat, although Jedrzejczyk will no doubt press her advantages when the fight is standing.

"You can see that I'm kind of a amusing person and I like to be happy and smile", Jedrzejczyk said. "I like going in there and showing it".

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