UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the queen of the staredown. Through her 11 professional mixed martial arts fights and 70 kickboxing matches, she’s earned a reputation for getting in the face of every woman she’s fought.
“I like to look into the eyes of my opponents,” Jedrzejczyk told MMAjunkie leading up to the fight where she took the championship belt off Carla Esparza at UFC 185. “I can see what I can expect – if she’s afraid or not. Then I feel more confident, more comfortable, more powerful.”
As for why she began to crouch down and look up into her opponents’ eyes, that comes from a specific set of fights when Joanna was kickboxing.
“She was acting strange, doing some trash talk,” Joanna recounted. “She said I was little girl and she’d beat me up, this and that. So we went to the weigh-in and she didn’t want to look into my eyes. And she’s kind of short, so I went down and put my eyes up … and yeah, then I beat her up. … Then I started to just do it, you know? My original trademark, you know?”
It’s a pretty intimidating trademark. What will she see in the eyes of her opponent Claudia Gadelha on Friday during The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia finale?