Joanna Jedrzejczyk appeared a little off her game to start Friday night’s The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale main event with Claudia Gadelha.
But after getting knocked down in the opening seconds, Jedrzejczyk re-focused and zoned in on what she had to do to survive and defend her strawweight belt.
By taking Gadelha into the fourth and fifth rounds for the first time in the Brazilians career, Jedrzejczyk showed her “champion heart,” earning a decision victory. While Gadelha dominated the first 10 minutes, it was all “Joanna Champion” after that.
“We knew she’d be strong in the first two rounds. She couldn’t do anything on the ground and I did my job.”
Jedrzejczyk landed almost 180 significant strikes in the final three rounds, while Gadelha attempted several desperation takedown attempts. She now holds two wins in the rivalry between the two.
“I’m very happy, I expected a tough fight. I did my job. I knew she was going to come out strong. I waited for my chance.”