FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
By Dan McConnell
Our weekly dose of mixed martial arts action this weekend was brought to us by Europe’s leading MMA promotion Cage Warriors and the world’s market leader promotion the UFC.
Cage Warriors made their promotional debut in Manchester England, with bantamweight champion Jack Cartwright defending his belt successfully for the first time against Manuel Billic on Saturday night.
While the UFC hosted a huge card in the hub of fighting in Las Vegas, with reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya put his title on the line against the explosive Cuban-missile in Yoel Romero.
Also, on the card was a women’s strawweight title bout between Chinese strawweight champion Weilli Zhang and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk blew up our television screens!
From the pick of the action at Cage Warriors, Derry-native Paul Hughes secured an incredible first round head-kick knockout, to improve his undefeated record to 5-0. This finish is a potential contender for KO of the year.
While Englishman Adam Wilson pulled off one of the most creative finishes, with a standing rear-naked choke submission over the experienced Scott Malone.
At UFC 248 the returning Sean O’Malley knocked out Jose Quinonez in the very first round, after a two-year hiatus on the side lines. While Beneil Dariush shut off the lights of Drakkar Klose in the second round, to continue his unbeaten run to four in a row!
However, it was in the co-main event of the at UFC248 that caught my attention and produced the greatest women’s MMA fight of all time!
Newly-crowned strawweight champion Weili Zhang was defending her 115-pound title for the very first time. What an opponent to face for your first title defence, than the women who helped build the entire division.
Despite her close split-decision defeat, this week’s award goes to Joanna Jedrzejczyk because of her warrior mentality and pure grit to stay in the fight. There really aren’t many fighters who could take the punishment she took while continuing to march forward.
The former champion certainly had her moments and tested Zhang to the best of her ability. It could be argued that Joanna won the close contest, such was the wafer thin margin of victory.
The former champion suffered a huge hematoma on her forehead, which was described by colour-commentator Joe Rogan as ‘Frankenstein-like’ as it completely changed the shape of her head and ability to see correctly.
However, this didn’t deter the former Polish Muay-Thai champion, who bit down on her mouthpiece and continued to take the fight to the current champion.
Many have questioned Joanna’s chin in recent years and have debated has she got much left in the tank. This fight definitely proved those doubters wrong and why UFC President Dana White has such admiration for the former champion and is quick to book her against the best in the division.
I honestly don’t think I have ever seen a better women’s MMA fight for as long as I have been watching the sport!
There is no doubt this fight is heading for the UFC’s Hall of Fame, and Joanna’s legacy will soon follow. Congratulations Joanna Jedrzejczyk, despite the loss you are this weeks FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week!