UFC women’s strawweight, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, has become the first European female athlete ever to hold a UFC world title, after defeating former champion Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza at UFC 185: PETTIS vs. DOS ANJOS. Jędrzejczyk, who headed into the fight as the No.1 ranked UFC women’s strawweight fighter, defeated Esparza by TKO in round two, in front of a packed American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. In winning the fight, Jędrzejczyk has not only become the first female European ever to hold a UFC belt, but she has also become the first Polish athlete ever to hold a UFC world title.
Reacting to her win at the UFC 185: PETTIS vs. DOS ANJOS post fight press conference, Jędrzejczyk said:
“I am a confident person. I said I am going to be a new champion, and I did it. That’s why I am here; I am always believing in myself.
“My biggest dream just came true.
And the newly crowned strawweight world champion was also quick to share her excitement at the prospect of the UFC coming to her home country for the very first time later this year:
“I am happy that the UFC is going to be in Poland – it’s a big deal. In the future, I would like to fight in Poland.”
Jędrzejczyk’s opponent, former women’s strawweight world champion and winner of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Carla Esparza, was less than satisfied with her own performance on the night.
“It’s been a long year and a half. I feel mentally drained. Mentally, I really just didn’t feel in the same place as I normally do.”
Jędrzejczyk, a six time Muay Thai world champion, headed into the championship fight undefeated in her mixed martial arts career. Having defeated Esparza, the Polish strawweight now holds a professional MMA record of 9-0, a record she will now undoubtedly look to build on as she defends her belt in the 115lbs division.
From Olsztyn in Poland, Jędrzejczyk trains at Arrachion MMA under the direction of a multitude of high profile names from the world of combat sport, including judo and jujitsu black belt Szymon Bonkowski and BJJ brown belt Robert Drysdale.
Jędrzejczyk became a favourite amongst fans in the lead up to her match up with Esparza when she was asked how it felt to have fans all over the world struggle to pronounce her surname. ‘It does not matter, after this fight, they can called me Joanna Champion” was her response.
She will now look to return home to Poland where she will celebrate with those closest to her, before returning the gym and preparing to defend her newly acquired world title.
UFC will host its debut event in Poland, UFC(R) FIGHT NIGHT GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2, on April 11th at the Tauron Arena. Tickets are on sale NOW viawww.eventim.pl/UFC.