Joanna Jedrzejczyk just won her fifth UFC title defense and, as the media and fans begin to compare her to another wunderkind in recent memory, the Polish mixed martial artist declares that she's nothing like Ronda Rousey. In fact, Jedrzejczyk seems to challenge all comers with her declaration that she won't forfeit the title to anyone, ever. It's a bold claim made by the UFC champion, but one she seems determined to prove. Meanwhile, Joanna's challengers are all eager to step into the ring and do everything they can to deprive the champ of her hard-won and well-defended belt.
The UFC Has a New Champion, But Don't Compare Joanna Jedrzejczyk to Anyone Else
Joanna Jedrzejczyk presented a lean, finely toned target, as she re-entered a familiar ring in Dallas, Texas to defend her title against Jessica Andrade on Saturday, reported Fox Sports. Joanna defeated Andrade by unanimous decision at UFC 211, proving that she meant what she said about holding onto her title.
"There is only one strawweight champion of the world: Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland. Remember that," Jedrzejczyk said. "No one is taking this belt from me. Nobody."
Two years earlier, Jedrzejczyk won the title from Carla Esparza in a similar match at the same American Airlines Center.
In her bout against Andrade, Joanna dominated her partner through 5 rounds and 25 minutes, showcasing speed, agility, and a barrage of assaults that many have remarked as being nothing short of "masterful" in the brief fight.
Jessica Andrade took the offensive in the first round, using speed and a straightforward assault in an attempt to take Jedrzejczyk out early, but she was no match for the UFC title champ. Joanna responded with a quick head kick, before pummeling Jessica with a series of punches and kicks.
Subsequent rounds followed suit with Joanna gaining more confidence against her opponent, as she dominated round after round. By the time the match was over, Jedrzejczyk outlasted Andrade with 225 strikes to 83.
"I think I could knock her out, I could finish her. She's got that long skinny neck that I could grab onto and get a submission," Jedrzejczyk previously said of her match with Andrade.
For her next match, the UFC reigning title holder is expected to face off against Rose Namajunas.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is Making a Name for Herself as the New UFC Title Holder
ESPNW reports that UFC president Dana White was among the first to recognize the talent and raw determination possessed by Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Even following his previous support of Ronda Rousey through her attempts to reclaim her own title, White no declares that Jedrzejczyk is the epitome of a world class champion.
"She wants to hold the belt. She wants to break records," the UFC president said of Joanna's strong will. "You couldn't ask for more in a world champion, man or woman."
Ms. Jedrzejczyk has a lofty goal for herself. The MMA fighter is determined to retire undefeated, but not until she breaks Rousey's six-match streak with a victory over Rose Namajunas later this year.
Joanna isn't intimidated by the talk of her opponents, even though they each are determined to knock her out because she feels the champion has the upper hand. No matter what threats upcoming contenders make, Jedrzejczyk says she will always be one step ahead, and that will make all of the difference.
Ms. Jedrzejczyk says that it takes more than strategy to overcome an opponent. The UFC champion credits a strong work ethic and a willingness to put in the hours of practice and fitness training to keep that advantage over her competitors.
Joanna also credits her coaches, whom she places her complete faith in, for helping her win the UFC title and helping her keep it away from her rivals.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]