Joanna Jedrzejczyk said she’d walk out of UFC 185 as the UFC female strawweight champion. And that’s exactly what she did.
After picking Carla Esparza apart for five-plus minutes, Jedrzejczyk (9-0) continued her assault in the second before the referee stepped in and ended it, crowing her the new champion.
Jedrzejczyk, who has competed in over 60 muay Thai matches and six championships, showcased all of that in picking Esparza apart. She also became the first-ever Polish champion and just the third from Europe to wear UFC gold.
“I cannot believe this,” she said. “I was working so hard. I said I was going to do it and I did it.
“Every day I am training 100-percent. That’s why I’m here. I was training so hard for her.”
Esparza won the title after winning a tournament on The Ultimate Fighter and was making her first defense. She focused in on using her wrestling to control Jedrzejczyk, even wearing a singlet to the Octagon.
“No one believed in my wrestling (defense),” she said. “I say, ‘I’m in the UFC, I am a complete fighter.’
“Nobody is going to take this belt from me.”