Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a Muay Thai champion before she entered MMA a few years ago, but despite being a vaunted kickboxer, she's also got the best boxing in the UFC, according to coach and former boxer Jason Parillo. "Joanna's MMA boxing is remarkable. It's second to none, if you ask me," he said of the UFC 193 star.
Our resident MMA Bread 'N' Butter expert says that Joanna keeps a good, low base, while walking her opponents down with punches both to the head and body. "What she's really good at is lowering her level," he said.
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"She's got great balance. She's got a great base. She's able to put a good offense together off that base."
Many MMA fighters are headhunters, meaning they concentrate most of their striking attacks at their opponent's heads. Joanna is the rare MMA striker who is comfortable changing levels of her strikes and that, in combination with her punch volume, overwhelms her rivals.
"She really mixes it up, as well. She goes to the head, she goes to the body," Parillo explained.
"By doing that, she forces her opponent to shoot for desperate takedowns, instead of smart, well-timed ones that they set up. When they are overwhelmed by her punches, coming at them at different levels, and constantly, they often shoot in from too far away."
Because she's lowered her striking stance to adapt to the risk of takedowns in MMA, Joanna Champion is also well-positioned to get her hips out and defend the takedown attempts when they happen. Jedrzejczyk wants to keep fights on the feet, where she is more skilled than any woman in the UFC, so defending takedowns is crucial to her success.
"Joanna also does all her punching from a pretty low stance. Her hips are low, and away, with that good base," Parillo detailed.
"So, when her opponents shoot in, she's already in position to sprawl and defend the takedown attempt. She walks opponents down, while putting punches in their face, and with a low stance so that she's ready to defend the takedown and keep things on the feet where she wants them."
In all, the Polish champ's style makes her a nightmare for just about anyone. There's no easy spot to be in during a fight with Joanna, as she piles it on and dictates pace.
"Opponents pay on the way in for trying to take her down," Parillo said in closing.
"Once she defends the takedowns, they pay again, on their feet."