International Fight Week continues with a huge night of fights as Joanne Jedrzejczyk defends her title against bitter rival Claudia Gadelha and Will Burns returns with his best bets for the show.
Friday 8th July 2016
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 23 FINALE
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (11-0) vs. CLAUDIA GADELHA (13-1)
(Womens Strawweight Championship)
This is possibly the fight that I am most looking forward to in this action-packed weekend ahead, as in their first meeting in December 2014, Joanna Jedrzejczyk beat Claudia Gadelha on a very dubious split-decision. Ever since that bout, tempers have been raging and their rivalry has nearly exploded, as they star as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 23 series. These two ladies absolutely detest each other and the Brazilian, Gadelha will enter this rematch, honing in on revenge while Jedrzejczyk has tunnel vision on retaining her UFC Strawweight belt in this her third defense.
The fight at UFC on Fox 13, as mentioned, the outcome was a highly controversial decision with the majority watching scoring the bout totally opposed to the judges’ reckoning. Despite a knockdown that she suffered in the final moments of round one, many would have scored all three rounds for Gadelha. However, now that is all water under the bridge and the Pole has become a fan favourite while the Brazilian has only fought once since.
Now nineteen months on, we have seen an improvement in both ladies but I think Gadelha takes home the gold this weekend at 2.38 with Boyle Sports. With great Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, Gadelha is an exceptional grappler and primarily a clinch takedown specialist but has been gradually improving and adding wrestling-based throws, like the double leg to her arsenal.
On the feet, Jedrzejczyk is without a doubt dangerous and the better striker but Gadelha proved in the first contest that she could compete and has worked on this since. Jedrzejczyk struggled with the strength, the clinch game and the takedowns of Claudia and that was before Gadelha has learnt a lethal double leg takedown, which will make it even harder for Joanna to keep this on the toes.
If we do see this one going to ground then Gadelha is in her element. Although she may have trouble holding Jedrzejczyk down she should have improved her cardio to go five rounds and could outscore the Pole with the successful takedown attempts. Making Jedrzejczyk graft to get back to her feet will eventually wear her down afteras time goes on which could see her make a tired mistake.
I can only see Jedrzejczyk win either one of two ways. Knocking out Gadelha is a sure possibility as she does hold power in those fists. Secondly, Jedrzejczyk may have improved her cardio and takedown defense but that is only something we will find out come Friday night/early Saturday morning. As I always say, anything can happen in the cage, but I still see Dana White placing that gold belt around Gadelha’s waist once Bruce Buffer is announcing the decision come the end of this fight.
TIP: Claudia Gadelha to win (2.38 at Boyle Sports)
If you are looking to make a decent profit without the risk of the above bets – have a look below at our (less-risky) Banker!
Will Brooks to win (1.25)
Doo Ho Choi to win (1.40)
Gray Maynard to win (1.57)