Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight Carla Esparza and Joanna Jedrzejczyk scrapped last night (March, 14, 2015) at UFC 185 inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
To watch full fight video highlights of Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk click here.
Esparza won her title in an excellent performance against Namajunas and was looking for a similar showing against her Polish foe. If Esparza defended her title, her grip on the championship would definitely tighten.
Meanwhile, Jedrzejczyk came through on big upsets in both of her previous UFC fights. She looked for a third against Esparza, as the Polish kickboxer came out looking for the knockout.
After sprawling on the first shot nicely, Jedrzejczyk was dragged down on the champion's second attempt. She worked her way back to her feet, Esparza was relentless with her wrestling. However, Jedrzejczyk kept up with her opponent in the scrambles, and landed elbows whenever she could.
With about two minutes remaining, Esparza's constant takedown attempts caught up to her, as she was quite tired from the constant grappling with little success. Utilizing her range well, Jedrzejczyk picked apart her opponent with some heavy straight right hands.
By the end of the round, it was clear that Esparza could not afford to strike with Jedrzejczyk. The Polish kickboxer had clearly taken the first round, battering her foe after the initial grappling exchanges.
Jedrzejczyk put on a clinic in the second round. Esparza did not have the energy to take down her opponent -- not that she really could in the first round -- and Jedrzejczyk constantly punished her for her attempts. Plus, Esparza was never given any time to catch her breath, as Jedrzejczyk picked her apart at range and constantly pressured.
After getting abused for about four minutes, Esparza began to wilt under Jedrzejczyk's constant attack. When Jedrzejczyk attacked with a big flurry, the ref took the opportunity to end the assault.
We can finally refer to Jedrzejczyk as Joanna Champion, rather than her impossibly difficult last name.
Jedrzejczyk fought incredibly well. She was more than prepared for Esparza's wrestling, as she sprawled on the vast majority of her opponent's takedown attempts. Furthermore, Jedrzejczyk landed numerous hard elbows while defending the double and from within the clinch. That only further discouraged Esparza's takedown attempts, which quickly made Jedrzejczyk's job easier.
Jedrzejczyk used her straight punches tremendously. For a Muay Thai champion, Jedrzejczyk has excellent boxing. Her jab and straight right hand snapped Esparza's head back just about every time she attacked. In a division that's generally lacking strong strikers, Jedrzejczyk is a breath of fresh air.
It's tough to see who's next for Jedrzejczyk, but it will undoubtedly be an interesting scrap.
Esparza's main issue in this fight was that she didn't set up her takedowns at all. Because of that, Jedrzejczyk was always in position to sprawl, forcing Esparza's head down and fatiguing "Cookie Monster." That quickly tired out the former champion, and she was soon a sitting duck.
Had Esparza looked to duck under Jedrzejczyk's right hand as her coach suggested -- or established her boxing even a little bit -- things could have gone different for the wrestler. She never got an opportunity to really get on top of Jedrzejczyk; she could have been equally dominant from that position.
For her next bout, a match with Claudia Gadelha would be excellent. Both women are coming off losses to Joanna Champion, and it was expected they would eventually collide over the title.
At UFC 185, Joanna Jedrzejczyk put a ruthless beating on Carla Esparza. How long can the kickboxer hold on to her title?
For complete UFC 185: "Pettis vs dos Anjos" results and play-by-play results click HERE!