Sunday, December 14, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha

Here's the video of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha from last night's UFC show in Phoenix. I expected this to be a fantastic fight. These two girls are high level athletes who are undefeated in MMA. The winner will get the first shot at Carla Esparza's UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Joanna is a European Muay Thai champ who I think is the hardest puncher in women's MMA since Hisae Watanabe. Claudia is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How will Joanna defend that and will Claudia run out of gas if Joanna defends well? Round one is the key round. Claudia gets a couple of takedowns but is unable to advance her position. You'll notice throughout the fight that the moment Joanna gets taken down, she heads straight for the fence to get back up. And Claudia does nothing to prevent that. So Claudia is in control but Joanna is preventing any damage with excellent defense. Joanna floors Claudia with an uppercut to the chin. But it's too late in the round for a finish. I scored that round 10-9 for Claudia. But I've seen the judges scorecards and all three scored that round 10-9 for Joanna. She stole the round with the knockdown. And that is the key to this fight. Claudia seemed to slow down in round two and Joanna was very effective striking from a distance. I scored round two 10-9 for Joanna. So did two of the judges but the third judge scored the round for Claudia. At the start of round three, Claudia is cut over the eye by an accidental head butt. The fight continued after the doctor looked at it. And I think the break helped Claudia. She controlled round three with takedowns though Joanna continued to defend well. Claudia landed a punch after the bell but she apologized and she said afterwards she didn't hear the bell. The apology means she won't be penalized. I scored that round 10-9 for Claudia and so did the judges. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Claudia but I Tweeted that I expected a split decision. And Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins by split decision. She gets the title shot. So that means that knockdown at the end of round one won her the fight. And indirectly her defense won her the fight too. Claudia's inability to advance her position after takedowns cost her this fight. It wasn't enough. And Joanna's defense could present similar problems for elite wrestler Carla Esparza. That's why you have to finish fights. This fight proves that a close fight can be decided by one thing. Of course Claudia's corner kept telling her she was winning. Now they say they will appeal the decision which will get them nowhere. Look, I don't believe in round stealing but obviously some judges do. That can be a big factor with a fight that was this close. Enjoy the video!
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