UFC 185: Pettis vs. Dos Anjos Date: March 14, 2015 Location: American Airlines Arena Venue: Dallas, Texas Broadcast: PPV UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza Profile: The winner of TUF 20 and the UFC women’s strawweight champion, Carla Esparza (10-2) is the best 115lb women’s fighter in the world. The 27-year-old American is riding a five-fight win streak and submitted Rose Namajunas at the TUF 20 Finale to win the inaugural title. She has incredible wrestling and her submissions are also excellent as well. She also has proven she has the cardio to go five strong rounds. Her striking needs work, but she is constantly working on it under coach Colin Oyama. Esparza doesn’t get the credit she deserves, but she’s a fantastic fighter and deserves all the praise she gets, and when she takes on Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185, she’ll look to prove she’s the best in the world at her weight to the doubters. UFC Women’s Strawweight Contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk Profile: The No. 1 contender in the UFC women’s strawweight division, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (8-0) is arguably the most devastating striker in the division and one of the most technical muay Thai fighters in the UFC. The 27-year-old native of Poland has knockout power at 115lbs, as evidenced by her brutal KO of Rosi Sexton in Cage Warriors and her knockdown of Claudia Gadelha at UFC on FOX 13. Along with her vicious striking she has shown exceptional takedown defence and if she can keep her fights on the feet it will be very difficult for anyone in the division to beat her. She is facing by far the toughest test of her career in the form of Claudia Gadelha, but it’s a fight that she can win, and if she does get her hand raised will be crowned the division’s champion. Opening Fight Night 62 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Esparza a -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) while Jedrzejczyk opened as a +145 underdog (bet $100 to win $145) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Esparza was extremely impressive in the TUF house and in her win over Namajunas at the TUF 20 Finale where she won the belt, but Jedrzejczyk is a different matchup and this is likely going to be a very difficult fight for the champion. While Esparza definitely possesses elite wrestling for her weight class, Jedrzejczyk has excellent takedown defence and if she can keep this fight on the feet, she will be at a massive advantage in the striking department. Jedrzejczyk showed exceptional takedown defence against Lima and Gadelha and if she can stop Esparza’s takedowns, she can win the title. Esparza is the champion and deserves the respect of entering the bout as the favorite, but this is anyone’s fight.
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