We are just days away from the UFC 248 matchup between UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang and former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. As we get closer to the fight, it seems as if people around the MMA world have been counting out Jedrzejczyk.
It’s easy to look at her last five fights and say she has a 2-3 record and that she doesn’t deserve a crack at the belt. However, people don’t realize that she’s on a two-fight win streak at strawweight and that there’s only ever been one person to beat her at 115-pounds.
Also is it really fair to judge her for losing a flyweight fight to Valentina Shevchenko? Not only does everyone at flyweight lose her, but they usually get stopped by her. Jedrzejczyk lasted the full 25 minutes against Shevchenko and out stuck “The Bullet” on the feet, which is miles better than anyone else.
Just in case anyone has forgotten just how good the former strawweight queen is, here’s a look back at her top five best performances.
#5) Carla Esparza. March 14, 2015
This was the first of a women’s UFC record nine championship fights (UFC 248 will be 10). Esparza was the UFC’s first ever strawweight champion and her first defense didn’t go well.
Esparza, who was supposed to have a huge wrestling advantage, couldn’t take Jedrzejczyk down and JJ exposed Esparza on the feet. Jedrzejczyk beat the breaks off Esparza and became “Joanna Champion” by finishing her in the second round.
#4) Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Nov 12, 2016
Poland vs. Poland. Undefeated vs. undefeated. That was big thing in lead up to this fight. This fight was special for Jedrzejczyk, as she wanted to prove that she was the queen of Polish MMA.
Kowalkiewicz landed a big punch on JJ in the fourth round. That one punch was really the only thing she did that whole fight. Jedrzejczyk landed strikes at ease and moved around the octagon flawlessly. JJ won the striking battle 181-63 and defended her throne.
#3) Michelle Waterson. Oct 12, 2019
Don’t have to look too far back for this one. In JJ’s last outing, she set a UFC record for leg kicks in a single fight with 78. Jedrzejczyk injured her foot in the process of throwing all the kicks, but it didn’t stop the strawweight GOAT from winning the fight easily on the judges scorecards.
#2) Jessica Penne. June 20, 2015
The biggest take away from this fight was that Penne is tough. This was a beat down to the highest degree. Jedrzejczyk just steamed rolled Penne right from the start and landed strike after strike.
When the finally was finally stopped in the third round, JJ had blood all over her. That blood wasn’t hers though, as she busted Penne up in what was one of the worst beat downs in women’s UFC history.
#1) Jessica Andrade. May 13, 2017
Nobody beats up Jessica Andrade. Except Joanna Jedrzejczyk. This was by far the best work that JJ has ever done inside the octagon. She won every single round and the judges gave her the decision 50-45, 50-44, 50-45.
In this lopsided fight, Jedrzejczyk landed 225 significant strikes. That was a UFC record for significant strikes in a title fight, until Max Holloway broke it in 2018. Andrade could never get on the inside and JJ just picked her apart with long strikes and leg kicks.
Jedrzejczyk has said that Zhang reminds her a lot of Andrade. If that’s the case, we might witness another vintage JJ performance.