At UFC 185, Carla Esparza fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk in first-ever UFC strawweight title defense
UFC strawweight and TUF 20 champion Carla Esparza (10-2) will defend her new title for the first time on March 14th at UFC 185 against unbeaten Joanna Jedrzejczyk (8-0). Esparza won the strawweight belt at the TUF 20 finale in December 2014, submitting Rose Namajunas (2-2) in round three with a rear naked choke after dominating the entire fight. Jedrzejczyk last fought Claudia Gadelha (12-1), in December 2014, handing Gadelha her first loss and winning via split decision.
In the TUF house, Esparza first defeated Angela Hill (2-0) with a standing rear naked choke in round one, followed by decision wins over Tecia Torres (5-0) and Jessica Penne (12-2). Prior to TUF, Esparza was the inaugural Invicta FC strawweight champion and comes from a decorated wrestling background. She was named an All-American twice while at Menlo College and trained under Olympic wrestler Lee Allen.
The title challenge will be Joanna Jedrzejczyk‘s (8-0) third fight in the Octagon. She made her UFC debut in July of 2014, defeating Juliana Lima (7-2) by unanimous decision less than two months after knocking out Rosi Sexton (13-5) at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 69. Jedrzejczyk is known for her fast, powerful striking – but can it counter Esparza’s wrestling background?
UFC 185 begins with the Fight Pass prelims at 6:30PM/3:30PM ET/PT on Saturday, March 14th.
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