Joanna Jedrzejczyk found herself in a tough stand-up battle with Valerie Letourneau at UFC 193 tonight, but gradually began to take over with her high-volume, combination striking to earn a unanimous decision victory.
The co-main event strawweight title fight is underway. Jedrzejczyk feels out with the jab. Letourneau with an early high kick that doesn’t quite connect.
Joanna with a jab and Letourneau with a leg kick. Jedrzejczyk with a leg kick of her own. Jedrzejczyk presses forward aggressively landing a nice right hand, but Letourneau manages to knock her off-balance and take her to the mat and keeps her there.
Jedrzejczyk able to work from half guard back to her feet, but Letourneau stays on her and presses her against the cage. Letourneau hoping to wear down the champion from this position. BOth trying to land knee strikes and then separate.
Joanna with a leg kick and Letourneau with one higher up. Jedrzejczyk lands a big front kick to the head and for a moment Letourneau turns her back looking dazed, then regains her composure as Jedrzejczyk clinches up against the cage.
Eventually they break with about a minute to go and Letourneau shows a willingness to trade some big strikes to show she’s recovered and still in this fight. Good strikes from the champion, but Letourneau still in there and trying to land upstairs. Joanna with a nice elbow inside as a competitive round comes to a close.
The champion with a quick flurry of punches and a kick behind it to start the second round. Letourneau with a body kick. Leg kick follows punches once again for Joanna and then leans back to avoid a kick in return. Letourneau with punches of her own now.
Joanna with a body kick, but Letourneau catches it and lands a few punches before letting go. They exchange and Joanna gets the better of it and moves away.
Letourneau catches another kick and presses the champion to the cage. Letourneau exits the clinch with a punch, but Joanna with three punches and a kick wins that exchange.
Another kick from Joanna, caught again by Letourneau, but not used as effectively. Jab from Letourneau who’s got a mouse under her right eye.
Leg kick from Jedrzejczyk. Punch over the top from Letourneau. Punch and a body kick from the challenger. Both ladies exchange punches and mixing in leg kicks there too.
Leg kick from JJ. She lands a powerful kick higher up. Big right hand gets through for the champion during a flurry. She’s upping her output now which is definitely required to assert her dominance as Letourneau is showing a real willingness to exchange. Joanna finishes the round on the offensive with punches and kicks. Another competitive round overall.
JJ looking to start off where she left off with a number of strikes. Letourneau marches forward with punches of her own though and then into the clinch against the cage. JJ reverses the position, but in the end they break and reset in the center of the cage.
Leg kicks from the champion. She lands a jab. Another punch connects solidly for her as Letourneau misses the mark with her own offense.
Good front kick to the head lands for the champion again, Letourneau felt that. JJ remaining busy with her offensive output, working both punches and kicks. Letourneau not offering as much in return. She’s trying to respond on the counter at times, but JJ is quicker and she’s not finding the mark.
regular leg kicks from Jedrzejczyk. Letourneau with a few strikes of her own. Body kick from the champion and almost caught by the challenger. Front kick to the body from JJ. Kick and a body punch. Front kick to the body again. Kick to the body from the challenger, but eats punches at the same time. A series of left and rights from Jedrzejczyk to end the round. Better round for the champion, starting to stamp her authority on the stand-up action now.
Into the championship rounds and JJ pumps out the jab then lands a short flurry of strikes when Letourneau tries to come forward. The champion ends a combination with a leg kick that’s almost caught again.
Another leg kick from Jedrzejczyk and again almost caught. Letourneau’s left leg is very red at this tage of the fight. Good right from the champion and a strong push kick.
Kick to the body from Letourneau. And again. Left hand from Letourneau and a couple of punches in return from JJ. left, right and a leg kick from Jedrzejczyk.
The champion definitely getting the better of thes frequent exchanges at the moment. A couple of body kicks do get through nicely for Letourneau though. She needs more of that. Now it’s Letourneau who takes a leaf out of JJ’s book with a series of punches followed by the body kick.
Jedrzejczyk does the same with punches and a kick. She targets the body now. Letourneau lands a good uppercut during a combo. Body kick again for Letourneau.
leg kicks continue to land for Jedrzejczyk and continues to tenderize that lead leg. Big right hand from the champion makes a mark and Letourneau staggers a little after that.
A couple of toe-to-toe exchanges start the round. Letourneau initiates this time and finishes with a kick. JJ works the jab. Hard body kick from Letourneau. Right hand from JJ snaps back Letourneau’s head.
Good elbow in close from JJ. Now she lands a punch to the body. A couple of left-rights from the champion, but eats a strike in return.
Nice jab from Joanna as she moves slickly around the cage, but Letourneau does land another body kick. Still a good workrate from the champion in the final round, sticking to her swift combinations and still landing that leg kick.
More punches land to Letourneau’s already swollen face. Occasionally JJ leads with an elbow strike. Hard jab snaps the challengers head back. Letourneau very tough, but not offering as much in response this round.
Brief stoppage for a possible eye poke to the champion, but she’s ok to continue. They go back to it and Joanna is right back to those increasingly effective combinations and each leg kick to finish them off takes it’s toll on that already beaten up lead leg of the challenger.
Absolutely no quit in Letourneau though despite some very bad swelling below her right eye and she’s still able to land some punches of her own as they keep going right to the bell.
No real doubt that Jedrzejczyk did enough to win the fight with her higher volume, accurate striking, but Letourneau definitely made it competitive (49-46 x2, 50-45).