Joanna Jedrzejczyk knew nothing would come easy Friday night at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale vs. Claudia Gadelha.
But the reigning UFC strawweight champion persevered and earned a decision to keep her perfect record intact.
Jedrzejczyk now holds the only two wins over Gadelha in her MMA career, having also picked up a split decision in 2014.
“I’m very happy, I expected a tough fight,” she said. “I did my job. I knew she was going to come out strong. I waited for my chance.”
Gadelha did just that, rocking Jedrzejczyk with a huge left hand that floored her in the opening seconds of the fight. But her ability to weather the Brazilian storm came through in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, as the champion landed over 170 significant strikes during that 15 minutes of action.
“We knew she’d be strong in the first two rounds,” Jedrzejczyk said. “She couldn’t do anything on the ground and I did my job.”