Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Joanna Jedrzejczyk eyeing up Ronda Rousey's record

Joanna Jedrzejczyk eyeing up Ronda Rousey's record

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

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

Then the fight started and just about everything changed.

This has the potential to be a big year for Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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.

While many may call the UFC women's strawweight division as a relatively easier one, fact remains that Joanna has faced quite a few tough fighters in Claudia Gadelha, Valerie Letourneau and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She has beaten Jessica Penne, Joanne Calderwood and Angela Hill in her last three fights. Letourneau fought admirably but was soundly defeated.

Of course, Andrade doesn't discount what Jedrzejczyk offers in return because she wouldn't be champion for as long as she's been without a ton of skill to counter everything her opponents throw at her. When it's time to fight, we're professionals.

Gadelha came closest to doing what many thought was impossible, but, as noted, gassed herself out by Round 3.

She's saying the right things now, and if she really does keep improving, it's only a matter of time before it all comes together and Jedrzejczyk is the one headlining the UFC's biggest blockbuster cards.

She has a thick accent, which might be a turn-off for some - bad - fans, but her English is excellent and Jedrzejczyk is always a great quote.

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Since coming down from bantamweight to fight at 115 pounds, Andrade has torn through every strawweight who has been put in her way.

She now takes on a veteran Brazilian fighter in Jessica Andrade at the UFC 211 event on Saturday May 13 in Dallas, Texas.

"We are very much aware of everything Joanna does well and we are even more aware of what I do well and how those two match". If Andrade tightens up her striking and lands something clean it's going to be lights out.

A bulldozing striker with a powerful submission grappling base, Andrade is a daunting task for anybody at 115 pounds - including the champion. "I'm not as technical as her, probably won't ever be because that's not the game that works for me", Andrade said. We know that it's going to make a difference cause I'll be honest, it's really hard to prepare against someone like me. "[I know] that I can submit her and I can knock her out [in training], but the fight is different".

At the same time Joanna doesn't move her head as much as I do, so if she does get swarmed, she's going to absorb a lot more damage.

"What's the motivation? I want to stay the UFC champion".

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), over the years, have become famous, thanks to the greats like Randy Couture, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Royce Gracie and so on.

Jedrzejczyk toned down the trash-talk prior to her last fight against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and it has been nearly non-existent in the build-up to Saturday's title defence against Jessica Andrade. A victory over Andrade would help further that trip with destiny along.

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.

Either set to become the latest entry of her laundry list of wins in MMA, or the first addition in an empty category of losses, Jedrzejcyk's challenger at UFC 211 awaits.

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