The first time Joanna Jedrzejczyk arrived in Dallas to compete in the Octagon, she did so as an unexpected title challenger with a last name that handcuffed most who tried to pronounce it.
As unusual as it might sound, Andrade concedes that Jedrzejczyk is probably the better technical kickboxer in this fight, but that doesn't mean she won't get hurt when getting punched in the mouth with a thudding left or right hand from the Brazilian contender. Jedrzejczyk is taking on the Brazilian bomber not only because she's worthy, but because the Pole has cleaned out the division. But the news was released prematurely, according to UFC president Dana White, who said the company hasn't officially signed off on it.
A history lesson, albeit a brief one: Joanna Jedrzejczyk hasn't been considered an underdog in the UFC since first challenging for the strawweight title back at UFC 185 in March 2015. But I was able to take her down, to immobilize her a little.
Before she was UFC champion, Jedrzejczyk was a multi-time title holder in Muay Thai kickboxing and she's translated her striking art to mixed martial arts where she's become one of the most fearsome stand up fighters in the world.
"The worst was when I fought Joanna [Jedrzejczyk], and you can talk to "Bigfoot" and talk to Mark Hunt, because I was sitting between them [in the sauna]".
For starters, Joanna, 29, is the current UFC strawweight champion, who is undoubtedly one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
When it comes to her potential to one day retire as the G.O.A.T., one could make the case that Jedrzejczyk has already defeated better competition than Rousey, who ran off an nearly mythical two-plus year stretch of dominant finishes before Holly Holm shockingly exposed her as one-dimensional in November 2015. A few years ago, [White] said there was not going to be a female division in UFC and here we go, we have three or four divisions.
Andrade also sits down on her punches, throws with real knock-out intent, and is a very good grappler and ground-and-pounder - which just so happen to be the champion's weaknesses. Recently engaged, she doesn't plan on fighting beyond two more years and has her sights set on starting a family.
Nobody in the strawweight division is going to top Jedrzejczyk's hand speed, so the woman who beats her will have to take a punch to throw a punch. Be sure to subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where I break down everything you need to know each week.
"The way that I put pressure on in fights is something Joanna has never had to deal with".
Jedrzejczyk's game is also more well-rounded.
A defeat here might cost Jedrzejczyk more then her title.
The champion once bought Andrade a pair of MMA gloves and now Andrade is using them as she trains for her upcoming title bout. Then I'd be like Shevchenko and her like Nunes - rematch earned for going the distance. She's not fantastic anywhere, but she's strong and commits to whatever she does, so wherever she feels her opponent feels uncomfortable, she'll try to put them there.
She was a -900 favorite against Jessica Penne, -2200 against Valerie Letourneau, -145 against Claudia Gadelha and -450 against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
"I was talking to my body like it's not even part of myself, like it's a machine and you just keep going, keep walking, keep doing your thing". Now three fights into her career at 115 pounds, "Bate Estaca" has crushed every woman in her wake. Jessica is a very unsafe opponent.
Namajunas is one of the few fighters at 115 pounds who could match Jedrzejczyk for popularity. It's definitely going to be an interesting fight because she is very explosive.
But, for a number of reasons, speaking of "Joanna Champion's" seemingly unavoidable victory at UFC 211 is far less of a formality than it has been in previous fights.
"You can see that I'm kind of a amusing person and I like to be happy and smile", Jedrzejczyk said.