Joanna Jedrzejczyk is legit!
Entering her first title defense as the favorite against Jessica Penne, Joanna put on a striking masterclass to successfully retain her straw weight championship. Not only was it the finest displays of stand-up I've seen from a woman in MMA, Joanna may very well have proved that she has the best stand-up in all of MMA right now. The rest of the division may want to start looking for a different weight class to compete in because this woman is a beast!
Credit to Jessica Penne, she took a beating but would not call it quits. She fought like a true warrior and though Joanna ran all over her, she proved how tough she is.
What was brilliant about Joanna's performance wasn't just her stand up, but her near perfect take down defense. Penne knew that the only way she would win the belt was by taking the fight to the ground. Joanna was excellent at stuffing Penne's offense. The only takedown Penne landed was in literally the last second of the first round, after Joanna had dominated the entire round.
In the second round, Joanna landed a vicious elbow that caused a massive laceration to the bridge of Penne's nose. After that, Joanna kept hitting Penne and Penne, despite her efforts, had no answer for the Pole. It was a shock when Penne managed to last the full 5 minutes of the second round, it was an even bigger shock when she re-emerged for the third!
Bleeding incessantly, probably unable to see through all that blood, Penne took another barrage of strikes. Finally, after 4:22 of the third round, the referee had to stop the fight, giving Joanna the win.
So what's next for the champ? The next challenger will likely be the winner of the UFC 190 bout between Jessica Aguilar and Claudia Gadelha. Gadelha previously fought Joanna to a controversial split decision loss and will no doubt be desperate to get some revenge. Both Gadelha and Aguilar present interesting match ups for Joanna. Both of them have high level Jiu Jitsu in their arsenal and Joanna's ground game may well be her shortcoming. Either way, whether it's Gadelha or Aguilar, Joanna's next title defense will be a lot tougher than her latest one.
Makwan Amirkhani is going places!
The rising Finnish star Makwan Amirkhani continued to dazzle with his displays of brilliance by submitting Masio Fullen in the first round, building on his 8 second KO win over Andy Ogle. Amirkhani has already shown potential as a future champion in the UFC and his victory in Berlin only enhances his growing reputation.
It's time the UFC give him a higher caliber opponent to see whether his raw talent will mature into the diamond that they hope he can become. For starters, having him on the main card to increase his exposure would be a good thing, especially considering his European roots and how desperate the UFC are to grow that market. It may be one fight too soon for a top 10 rank opponent but a discussion for the same is warranted. Dennis Siver, who is better known to casual UFC fans as one of Conor Mcgregor's victims, may be next up.
While most of the undercard flattered to deceive, on what was not the best of nights for the UFC, the main event was the saving grace. The bloodbath in the championship bout has got people talking of Joanna as the straw weight Ronda Rousey. While it may be too soon for such comparisons, it has propelled Joanna to a different level and has people talking about her as a potential long term champion