Throughout its decorated history, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has signed some of the world’s most impressive MMA talent. Generally, the promotion hosts many highly anticipated live events. To learn more, you can check out UFC betting odds.
Several key names stand out in UFC history. One of those is Polish fighter Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
Jędrzejczyk is a decorated kickboxer best known for her calculated, lethal, and precise strikes. She’s also famous for other incredible achievements, which we’ll outline in this article.
Before the UFC
Jędrzejczyk discovered the art of Muay Thai at age 16 after taking up fitness. This was a great decision that almost immediately led to her competing in European and national tournaments.
She stuck with Muay Thai for over a decade and won an impressive total of 60 matches in that time. She also won four IFMA European championships (with a record of 3 losses and 37 wins) and six IFMA world medals (one silver and four gold).
After training and honing her skills, Jędrzejczyk went on to make her professional MMA debut in 2012. She went on to immediately impress fans with her determined and aggressive style of fighting, managing to win two of her first fights against Sylwia Juśkiewicz and Lily Kazak.
Yet it was the 2013 victory over Julia Berezikova that saw Jędrzejczyk truly put her name on the MMA map. By July 2013, Jędrzejczyk was the number 7 women’s flyweight fighter in the entire world.
Following a defeat over Rosi Sexton in June 2014, the UFC quickly set its sights on the Polish fighter.
By June 2014 she was already a Muay Thai world champion and also managed to put together an impressive 6-0 MMA record outside the UFC. And, just one month after her fight against Rosi Sexton, in July 2014, Jędrzejczyk officially signed with the UFC.
Her promotional debut occurred during this same month at the UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown event. Here, she fought against Juliana Lima and won by unanimous decision.
Jędrzejczyk got into a bit of controversy in December of her inaugural year at the UFC during a fight against Cláudia Gadelha. She claimed victory via split decision despite the media favoring Gadelha.
She went undefeated during her first nine UFC fights.
Jędrzejczyk’s impact on the UFC isn’t something that can easily be measured in either wins or losses. Instead, it should be evaluated in the way that she managed to impact the other fighters in her weight division.
In March 2015, Jędrzejczyk defeated then-strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 185 and became UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.
She proceeded to elevate the entire strawweight division in the UFC and left it much better than it was when she found it. In terms of legacies, this is the true ideal!
Defending Her Title
Her title reign lasted just over two years with five successful defenses against opponents including Cláudia Gadelha, Jessica Penne, and Jéssica Andrade.
During her sixth title defense, Jędrzejczyk suffered her first MMA loss in a bout against Rose Namajunas in November 2017. A rematch occurred in April 2018 yet Jędrzejczyk lost via unanimous decision.
Jędrzejczyk went on to defeat Tecia Torres before she briefly returned to the flyweight division in late 2018. This was in an attempt to take the UFC Women’s Flyweight belt from then (and current) flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.
After losing this fight, she returned to strawweight in October 2019.
Jędrzejczyk vs Weili
In March 2020, Jędrzejczyk faced strawweight royalty Zhang Weili for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship but lost the fight via a split decision.
This was arguably the most high-profile fight in her career and is considered to be the best fight in the history of women’s MMA! Although she lost, Jędrzejczyk was awarded the Fight of the Night.
In a June 2022 rematch, Zhang claimed victory over Jędrzejczyk. Then, during post-fight interviews, Jędrzejczyk announced her retirement.
Her fights were often very bloody. Jędrzejczyk utilized high front kicks, elbows, and knees amid a flurry of strikes to disorientate her opponent before landing the finishing blow. Although Jędrzejczyk is generally pretty soft-spoken, she was a dedicated and avid trash talker before entering the Octagon.
With the UFC, Jędrzejczyk established herself as an accomplished MMA fighter. She managed to win and defend the strawweight title five times and had a pretty strong undefeated fighting record. It’s safe to say that Jędrzejczyk is immortalized as one of the all-time greatest female UFC fighters!