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Joanna Jedrzejczyk's Super Seven


Joanna Jedrzejczyk poses with her belt at UFC 217 pre-fight press conference
Soft-spoken and with a perpetual smile outside the Octagon, Joanna Jedrzejczyk turns ferocious once the gate closes on fight night, and it’s that Jekyll and Hyde personality that has captured the imagination of fans around the world since her UFC debut in 2014.

On April 7, Jedrzejczyk will attempt to regain the UFC strawweight title when she faces Rose Namajunas in the co-main event of UFC 223. As fight night approaches, we take a look at her defining moments.

Julia Berezekova
Result – Jedrzejczyk W2 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
As a multiple-time champion in Muay Thai, Jedrzejczyk’s reputation was well established in that world. MMA was going to be another hill to climb, and despite winning her first three bouts, her stiffest test was going to be against top Russian competitor Julia Berezekova. An owner of wins over Megumi Yabushita and Milana Dudieva who also fought Tara LaRosa, Julie Kedzie and Rosi Sexton, Berezekova was the real deal, but over the course of their bout, Jedrzejczyk kept the fight standing and the combinations flowing, leading her to her biggest win to that point.

Rosi Sexton
Result – Jedrzejczyk KO2 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
If anyone saw Rosi Sexton’s last UFC fight against Jessica Andrade in October of 2013, her induction to the Hall of Toughness was cemented that night. But when the female fighting pioneer faced off with Jedrzejczyk eight months later in the Cage Warriors promotion in London, the difference in striking accuracy and power was frightening, and after scoring a couple knockdowns in the first round, Jedrzejczyk finished Sexton in the second. It was no surprise that a call from the UFC came next.

Juliana Lima
Result – Jedrzejczyk W3 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
Signed to the UFC shortly after the Sexton fight, Jedrzejczyk was back in action just a month and a half later to take on Brazil’s Juliana Lima. It was a competitive fight, with Lima looking to grapple and Jedrzejczyk looking to strike, and whenever the Poland native had some room to let her hands down, she did, thrilling fans in San Jose en route to a three-round unanimous decision win. First-time Octagon jitters? Not from everyone’s new favorite fighter.

“I’m never nervous,” Jedrzeczyk said. “I love the adrenaline before the fight and it always makes me stronger. I just love to train hard and fight.”

Claudia Gadelha I
Result – Jedrzejczyk W3 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
The night after The Ultimate Fighter 20 crowned the UFC’s first strawweight champion, the heir apparent, Brazil’s Claudia Gadelha, squared off with Jedrzejczyk in a title elimination bout in Phoenix. This one was clearly cut down the middle. When Gadelha was able to grapple, she held the edge; when Jedrzejczyk got to let her hands go, she owned the action. Not <a href='../fighter/Joanna-Jedrzejczyk'>Joanna Jedrzejczyk</a> punches <a href='../fighter/Claudia-Gadelha'>Claudia Gadelha</a> during their first meeting at Fight Night Phoenixsurprisingly, when the judges rendered their verdict, it was a split decision, but it was Jedrzejczyk emerging victorious and earning the first shot at Carla Esparza’s world title.

Carla Esparza
Result – Jedrzejczyk TKO2 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
This one wasn’t even close. Expected to be a back-and-forth fight in which Esparza’s standout wrestling game tried to nullify Jedrzejczyk’s stand-up, it was instead a showcase for the European’s ferocious and aggressive attack. By the end of the first round, the result was no longer in doubt, and in the second, Jedrzejczyk was a world champion, as she stopped Esparza at the 4:17 mark. Joanna Champion had arrived.

Claudia Gadelha II
Result – Jedrzejczyk W5 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
Following two dominant title defense wins over Jessica Penne and Valerie Letourneau, it was time for Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha to meet again. In the time between their first fight and the 2016 rematch, a competitive rivalry turned into a personal one after six weeks of coaching against each other on The Ultimate Fighter, and anticipation was high for this bout. These ladies didn’t disappoint, with Gadelha racing out to an early lead before Jedrzejczyk came back in the final three rounds to take a hard-fought decision in one of the best fights of that year.

Jessica Andrade
Result – Jedrzejczyk W5 (Watch on UFC FIGHT PASS)
Jedrzejczyk got another tough challenge in her next bout in Madison Square Garden, as she defeated Polish compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205. That made her May 2017 bout with Jessica Andrade an interesting one, because Brazil’s “Bate Estaca” had been running through her opponents since making the move to 115 pounds. But on this night in Dallas, Jedrzejczyk was on top of her game as she scored a shutout win over another top contender.