Joanna Jędrzejczyk will be attempting the fourth defense of her title at UFC 205. If successful, she could be poised to extend what is becoming one of the most dominant runs by a UFC champion.
Joanna Jędrzejczyk will enter the cage in New York as the most dominant champion on the card. And while fans will be eagerly anticipating the main event between Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, it could very well be the battle between the two Poles that steals the show at UFC 205.
A UFC champion since 2015, she has already become the second most dominant female champion in the organization’s history. More noticeably, she has looked more dominant in every fight that has extended her reign. Earlier this year, Jędrzejczyk won a fight of the year candidate against the top-ranked Claudia Gadelha in which she had to come back from two-rounds behind to take control of the final three.
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Now going into the most historic event in UFC history, she enters the most intriguing fight of her career. In countrywoman Karolina Kowalkiewicz, she faces another powerful striker who is equally adept at psychologically breaking her opponent. While Jędrzejczyk is prone to trash talk, Kowalkiewicz is notable for being the polar opposite. The challenger is overwhelmingly polite in interviews and eerily calm in the cage between rounds.
But the most notable part of the matchup is that the champion campaigned for Kowalkiewicz to be brought into the UFC as there was talk over which of the two was the best in their home country prior to joining the world’s largest MMA organization. The strawweight division is easily one of the most competitive in the UFC, and to have the champion campaign to have another elite challenger enter the fold is unlike any situation seen before.
Despite facing game opposition in Gadelha and Valerie Letourneau during the course of her reign, Jędrzejczyk has her hands full going into New York. The challenger proved durable in her title-eliminator against Rose Namajunas, in particular displaying powerful knees from the clinch. The champion on paper looks to be the more well-rounded of the two, though it may not matter as the bout figures to be a stand-up affair for as long as it lasts.
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While she can’t look past Saturday, a victory for the champion would put her into the rarefied air of two years as a champion. Going forward, each fight would be more than just another title defense, it would be a new chapter for her legacy in the UFC.
She is already ranked fourth pound-for-pound and has already held onto her world title more than all but one of the current champions. That’s not to say she is about to complete a sweep of the division if she gets past Kowalkiewicz. Names like Namajunas, Tecia Torres, and Jessica Andrade all await their shot at championship gold.