Joanna Jedrzejczyk absolutely dominated Carla Esparza tonight at UFC 185 before taking her out by TKO in the second round to become the UFC’s new strawweight champion.
Esparza fainting as the round begins, testing out Jedrzejczyk. Straight punch from Joanna and Esparza ducks into a takedown immediately, but it’s stuffed well.
Back to the feet and Esparza misses with a kick. She shoots in again and JJ almost stuffs it, but Esparza clings on hard to her leg and keeps working for it. Jedrzejczyk is almost out, but nope, Esparza’s tenacity leads to a takedown.
JJ back up quick though and they are back to the stand-up. Not for long though as Esparza clinches up and gets another takedown. Another hard battle to keep her down and JJ is back up. She lands a hard strike that stops Esparza in her tracks momentarily as they separate.
Esparza continues working for takedowns. She almost has the Polish striker down, but not quite. Another attempt.
JJ lands a few straight punches. An overhand lands. Another right hand, Esparza struggling in the stand-up. Another takedown attempt. Back up and Joanna lands a knee.
Right hand snaps Esparza’s head back. Three big straight rights from Jedrzejczyk to end the round and she looks confident, while Esparza will be worrying a lot inbetween rounds that she’s struggling to impose her wrestling gameplan a this early stage in the contest.
Esparza tries to land a punch, but is met by a flurry in response. Esparza in on a takedown and again having to work very hard to get anything from it. Fantastic takedown defense once again from Joanna.
JJ taking the center of the cage and landing straight punches again. Back to the takedown attempt for Esparza and it’s stuffed. Back up and JJ blasts her with punches.
Another successful stuff and JJ lands elbows. This could be a very long night for Esparza if she can’t get something happening here as these unsuccessful takedowns are depleting her gas tank and she’s getting tagged on the feet and hasn’t landed anything meaningful of her own.
Jedrzejczyk blasts her with punches against the cage and Esparza just drops down and tries to pull guard to avoid more.
They are soon back up and Esparza eats more big punches. Another failed attempt and another big right hand from Joanna hammers Esparza.
This is tough to watch, Esparza’s getting utterly dominated here. Solid shots rocking Esparza’s head and now Jedrzejczyk steps it up a notch with rapid-fire offense and the ref has seen enough – he steps in to call an end to the fight just as Esparza slumps to the mat.
Sensational stuff from Carla Esparza, completely shutting down Esparza’s wrestling – something no one else has been able to do – and then making her pay with clinical striking on the feet to become the new strawweight champion and Poland’s first ever UFC title holder.