At UFC 185, Joanna Jedrzejczyk dethrones Carla Esparza via TKO
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (9-0) is the new UFC strawweight champion after dominating Carla Esparza (10-3) before referee Don Turnage stepped in at 4:17 of round two, calling a stop to the fight due to Jedrzejczyk’s vicious striking. For over nine minutes, Jedrzejczyk stuffed Esparza’s takedown attempts and picked her apart with precise, powerful jabs, never appearing to be in real danger at any point during the fight.
Esparza looked progressively more exhausted as the fight went on, showing the cumulative effects of Jedrzejczyk’s onslaught. Jedrzejczyk capitalized on this in the last minute of round two, unleashing a torrent of strikes that caused Esparza to collapse right as Turnage stopped the fight.
In her post-fight interview in the Octagon (embedded below), Jedrzejczyk said everybody doubted her, but she’s a “complete MMA fighter, and…nobody (is) gonna take this belt from me.”
Although the next title challenge hasn’t been established, there’s already talk that Joanne Calderwood (9-0) or Claudia Gadelha (12-1) would be the anticipated contenders, depending on how their upcoming fights go. Calderwood fights UFC-debuting Maryna Moroz (5-0), while Gadelha fights Aisling Daly (15-5). Both bouts are scheduled for the UFC Fight Night on April 11th in Krakow, Poland. Jedrzejczyk handed Gadelha her first loss in a title contender fight, via split decision, in December of 2014. Gadelha has been vocal about her disagreement with the decision.
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