In what was the biggest upset of 2017, Rose Namajunas destroyed Joanna Jedrzejczyk in just three minutes to become the UFC strawweight champion at UFC 217. Of course, Jedrzejczyk reigned over the division for nearly its entire existence and will get an immediate rematch vs Namajunas at UFC 223 on April 7.
The first fight played out like many of Jedrzejczyk’s previous bouts, with fists flying. However, Namajunas’ use of range and her ability to counter the then champion quickly turned the tides in favor of “Thug Rose.”
Namajunas has one of the most complete skill sets in the division despite her relatively young age. The biggest growth has come from harnessing her natural aggressiveness and combining that with an ever-growing technical acumen in the striking game. Her natural length and aggression also rear their heads once any grappling exchange occurs.
Jedrzejczyk has some of the most refined striking in MMA, as her mastery of distance has almost always put her in the perfect place to hit without being hit. The Polish striker is built to wear down opponents with volume and pace across several rounds. Her grappling is traditionally not tested thanks to her footwork and ability to dictate distance but it’s better than most.
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Odds Shark Staff Fri, May 20, 11:42am