New Fan Old Fan: UFC Women’s Strawweight Division and TUF 23

By Owen Phillips and Carolina     8/7/16     Views

New Fan Old Fan UFC Womens Strawweight division The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale TUF23Finale Joanna Jedrzejczyk Claudia Gadelha Ronda Rousey Jessica Andrade Carla Esparza

Photo: Jeff Sherwood/

In this installment of New Fan Old Fan Carolina and Owen discuss the women’s strawweight division and the battle for the top of tree at the Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale between champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and challenger Claudia Gadelha.

Owen: The current Ultimate Fighter reality series has coaches Joanna Jedrzejczyk up against Claudia Gadelha and then they will rematch for the belt when the series concludes at the Finale event the day before UFC200. Team Gadelha has thoroughly dominated Team Jedrzejczyk and this has further strained relations between the coaches, who fought to a controversial decision when they first met which boosted Jedrzejczyk on to a title shot and then the belt.

I know you have watched every episode so tell me your thoughts?

Carolina: Thanks Owen. I watched all the ultimate fighter 23 episodes so far. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed see Claudia Gadelha win every time.

In my opinion she represents all that a good coach should bring to their team in a session of training. That is full support, encouragement, experiences, passion for the sport and the sense of family belonging. I’m happy for her to have this opportunity to fight for the belt and I truly believe she deserves to win.

Meanwhile Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a good fighter, you didn’t ask me this but I think she needs to learn more about teamwork and personal growth. I didn’t see her talking with her team and sharing experiences as compared to how Claudia was; she encouraged them all the time instead of Joanna who did all the opposite, gave them orders and become pretty upset when the results went wrong.

For me, clearly she has a communication problem even against the opponent. She is really rude and is a sad character. “I’m the toughest fighter” she says, I always laugh when she behaves like that and she gets so emotional which shows her weakness.

The results are showing who of the two fighters did better so far.

Owen: You described Claudia Gadelha’s coaching style very well. It clearly got the best out of her team.

The Ultimate Fighter House changed many people’s perspectives of Joanna Jedrzejczyk . She did seem to have a communication problem with her team and this was exaggerated with the poor results.

She appears very nice outside of the house. I find it hard to believe that the ‘house’ version is really the true version. I feel that having Claudia around put her in a constant bad mood and she wasn’t as suited to coaching as some active fighters. Joanna just wants to train hard and focus on her own fight.

The damned TUF23 is getting in her way and is more of a distraction than anything. Your comment about her teamwork is not that important when you are the champion and the fight camp revolves around you and your needs.
I can see you are a Claudia Gadelha fan. She is portrayed perfectly in the show, but I wonder how much of that is the choice of the producers.

Who do you think is going to challenge either of these women in the future?




Carolina: Joanna is too focussed on her work as you said, she didn’t participate much in the house with her team. This was contrary to Claudia who did that because Claudia knows that if she teaches at the same time she learns. She is practicing what she knows so she becomes stronger.

Joanna is focussing on hating Claudia. When you have a team you need to show that you are strong, she is showing hate so the team doesn’t respond to that. Her motivation is to hate her opponent.

She is not focussing on improving. When you hate you waste your energy. She is focussing on hating Claudia.

Look at Ronda Rousey. She hated Holly Holm so much that it affected her in the fight. She over-committed on her strikes and got damaged. Hating your opponent gives your opponent all your energy.

If Joanna loses this fight I will not be surprised. She is too focussed on being a hater. Conor McGregor doesn’t hate his opponents, he makes his opponents hate him. He saves his energy for training and has fun. Joanna doesn’t look like she is having fun.

I think Rose Namajunas will challenge these women. She has a great future ahead of her.

Owen: Interesting points Carolina. I didn’t think about how hating can use up your energy. I think that hate can be motivating. It depends how you use it.

I still think ‘house’ Joanna is different to ‘normal’ Joanna. As soon as Joanna Jedrzejczyk got out of the house she would have let all that hate go and got down to business of training to defend her title against the toughest challenger yet.

Ronda Rousey certainly was in a whirlwind of hate. She used that to her advantage though. One example of how hate can be a positive. Obviously until a high level striker Holly Holm managed to use it against her. It was absolutely effective during Rousey’s whole career.

I agree that Rose Namajunas will be right up there to compete for the belt. Every fight she improves and she is so young in her career.

I think Carla Esparza will be back too as she improves her striking because her wrestling is the best in the division. One woman who will be hard to beat is Jessica Andrade. Her brawling style makes her a fan favourite.

Carolina: Joanna is still hating outside the house. Claudia is focussing in the moment. She isn’t hating. Sometimes hating can be motivating I agree with you. Take out your hate on the opponent. We will see what happens in the UFC women’s strawweight championship tomorrow.

Owen: Joanna is not hating. Bring on the fight!!


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