Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 Big Bad Blog Fighter Of The Year-Joanna Jedrzejczyk

We may not be able to pronounce her name but I know a badass when I see one. And UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is quickly developing into one of the UFC's top attractions. She is my 2015 Big Bad Blog Fighter Of The Year. Joanna was born Aug. 28, 1987 Olsztyn, Poland where she still lives and trains. She started out in Muay Thai ten years ago and she has a record of 27-2 and she has held several European championships. She switched to MMA in 2012. At first she fought at 125lb. The first time I saw her was when she pounded Rosi Sexton into retirement on the June 7, 2014 Cage Warriors show in London, England. It was her first fight outside of Poland. With the UFC starting the Strawweight division, her manager was asked if Joanna planned to drop to 115lb. I think the plan was for her to fight for Invicta before going to the UFC. But he changed his mind when the UFC came calling and Joanna won her UFC debut over Juliana Lima on July 26, 2014. Joanna said in a recent interview that she would have retired if she hadn't got the call from the UFC. A very close win over Claudia Gadelha earned Joanna a title shot. She pounded Carla Esparza to a second round TKO to win the title. Since then, Joanna has defended the title twice. She is currently recovering from a broken hand suffered during her most recent win over Valerie Letournean. The talk is that Joanna and Claudia will be TUF 23 coaches and the rematch will happen at the finale. Unlike most female fighters, Joanna has legit punching power. She also varies her attack to keep her opponents off balance punctuated by kicks. But the key to her success is her takedown defense. Any opponent who tries to take her down gets hammered with elbows and fists. And Joanna is a very disciplined fighter. She has a game plan and she sticks to it. This says a lot about the quality of her coaching at Berkut Fight Club in her home town of Olsztyn. When she's in Las Vegas, she trains with UFC fighter Robert Drysdale and Invicta fighter Raquel Pa'aluhi. Her exciting fighting style and engaging personality makes her very popular with fans. And Reebok loves her because she collects sneakers. Look, Claudia Gadelha is a BJJ champ and a very tough opponent. But I think Joanna has improved since they fought and she is determined to keep the UFC Strawweight Championship. I expect that fight to be a war.

1 comment:

  1. Good call there Frank, I completely agree with you on this one. You made excellent points about her personality and skill. I think she will be around for a while, and hold onto that belt.