Joanna Jedrzejczyk held onto her UFC women’s strawweight title, but it certainly wasn’t easy. She had to overcome a ferocious early assault from challenger Claudia Gadelha, but she successfully weathered the storm. The champ took over down the stretch and won a unanimous decision with scores of 48-46, 48-45, and 48-46.
A stiff jab from Gadelha dropped Joanna right away. She got up, but Gadelha took her right back down. She wasn’t able to get much done though, and the champ got back up again. Gadelha looked a bit winded from all the early grappling, but she was still landing effective counters when Jedrzejczyk was throwing. The first round went to the challenger.
The second was all Gadelha too. She grinded away against the cage, getting a couple of takedowns and being able to work over Joanna on the ground. She was very effective when she trapped a leg, which allowed her to land a ton of shots on Jedrzejczyk against the cage.
Gadelha got tired in the third. After getting another takedown, Joanna got up and brought the striking to her Brazilian foe. But Claudia was still able to connect with counters. They exchanged nasty elbows in close, and Gadelha briefly dropped Joanna. This round was a tough call scoring-wise.
The fourth was all Jedrzejczyk. Claudia was completely out of gas, while Joanna was fresh. She completely tooled her for the whole five minutes, minus a few nice counters from Gadelha. It set up a dramatic finish where the champ was arguably down on the cards, but had all the momentum.
Gadelha came out with a bit more energy in the final round, charging across the cage for a takedown. Joanna managed to stay on her feet though, banging Claudia around the cage with a nice mix of strikes. Gadelha showed fire, trying valiantly to land, but it wasn’t enough.
In the end, Joanna Jedrzejczyk managed to keep her title due to a superior gas tank.
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