Despite owning UFC strawweight belt, superstardom eludes Jedrzejczyk

Posted May 12, 2017

Joanna doesn't typically start kicking until her opponent is hurt but it's doubtful Andrade will give her enough to space to throw them anyway. She's won three straight fights, including two stoppages, while showing off a hard-charging style that could feature the best aspects of Gadelha's grappling-based game plan while packing more power on the feet than Kowalkiewicz.

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. That's where I signed my UFC contract.

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

Before she was UFC champion, Jedrzejczyk was a multi-time title holder in Muay Thai kickboxing and she's translated her striking art to mixed martial arts where she's become one of the most fearsome stand up fighters in the world. She can run as much as she want, but she won't be able to run eventually, and then I'll catch her.

If Joanna opens up with that stuff, she can be successful at UFC 211, but I still think Andrade has a good chance of beating her.

When it comes to her potential to one day retire as the G.O.A.T., one could make the case that Jedrzejczyk has already defeated better competition than Rousey, who ran off an nearly mythical two-plus year stretch of dominant finishes before Holly Holm shockingly exposed her as one-dimensional in November 2015.

"It's all about the person who is trying to step on my toe, I'm not a bully person", Jedrzejczyk said.

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In total, belts changed hands 11 times, meaning just three champions kept their title reigns intact for the entire 12 months.

If the two fighters did a reasonably good job selling a rivalry and it could be billed as the event where Jedrzejczyk was out to tie Rousey's record, it could be a modest success for all involved. Be sure to subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where I break down everything you need to know each week. If I beef up a little bit, work more on sitting down on my punches when I want to do damage and not getting moved back, I know I can win a second fight against Andrade.

Jedrzejczyk (13-0 record in MMA) is one of the few UFC champions who was able to keep their titles in 2016. I think she's an incredible person. Then I'd be like Shevchenko and her like Nunes - rematch earned for going the distance.

Her last two title defenses-against Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, respectively-were surprisingly competitive affairs.

Andrade, 25, recently reinvented her career by dropping down from 135 pounds, where she was 4-3 in the UFC. But while she certainly respects what Andrade brings to the fight, Jedrzejczyk also learned a few things about her from sparring. I couldn't even drink, eat, or speak. Jessica is a very unsafe opponent. "He needs a new face to fight and I believe I'm going to be the new face of this division".

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Despite the fact that her fighting future remains unclear, Rousey is a role model and ground-breaker, but with the record in sight Jedrzejczyk wants to - in her own words - "become an idol for herself". (She said) that she couldn't tell by looking, but when she trained with me, she saw I really was very strong. "I like going in there and showing it".