As I mentioned in my other blog, I’m in New York City for the #UFC205 card. Time is a luxury I haven’t had much of lately, so I’m going to be fairly brief with the last two title breakdowns: #JoannaJędrzejczyk vs. #KarolinaKowalkiewicz and #TyronWoodley vs. #StephenThompson.
We’ll get started with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson first. The thing that blows my mind, that’s absolutely crazy to me, is that Wonderboy is the favorite in this match-up. He’s a 2-1 favorite, which is just insane.
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
If you look at the type of guy he’s dealing with in Tyron Woodley, you’ll understand why I’ve got him retaining his belt.
- He’s explosive. He has some invisible core of energy that allows him to blast out with incredible bursts of speed and power. He’s demonstrated this both on the feet and on the ground.
- He’s powerful. That right hand is a real anvil, and when he swings it, there’s nothing but devastation left in its wake if it lands.
- He’s got a great wrestling base, and Thompson doesn’t. This could come in handy if he were to affect level changes more in this particular fight.
- He’s fast. He has good footwork, and moves well. He’s very economic with his punches, especially his jabs, so volume isn’t his M.O., but when he turns it up, he can step in, land three shots and be out before Thompson can fire off one of his kicks or a counter shot.
All Woodley has to do is stay out of range of Thompson’s bread and butter, his kicks. Tyron is so fast, so powerful and so explosive, that I feel he can get on the inside and lay hands on him, he’ll take the W. If Wonderboy keeps his distance and fights from the outside, he might be able to take it, but I don’t think he will.
Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Now, let’s move on to Joanna and Karolina. I love this match-up, I really do, but I feel like Karolina is going to be in for a long night. God bless her, and I wish her all the best in this fight, and no offense to her, but I just don’t think there’s any woman on the planet at 115lbs that can beat JJ.
Let’s take a look at the champ’s arsenal for a moment:
- Technical striking: Joanna is just beyond any woman in any division, with her striking. She keeps her elbows tucked close, throws tight, precise shots, uses her jab like a pro boxer, and throws tons of volume.
- Kicking: She’s a former kickboxing and Muay Thai champ, so it’s no surprise that she kicks well. Her kicks are well timed, and often serve to set up striking combinations.
- Footwork: Simply beautiful movement comes from the champ. She pivots well, moves constantly, and has exceptional counter-punching as a result.
- Combinations: She uses punches and kicks together well, and her punching combinations are some of the best in the entire sport, period.
- Speed: She’s a blur of motion, and she can rack up punches in bunches literally in the blink of an eye. When she catches a brave girl coming in, she’ll counter with five shots before the unlucky one can even catch her bearings.
- Fight IQ: She’s so good with making adjustments throughout the course of a fight, and is an opportunist with a magnet-like sense for finding openings to capitalize on.
Joanna is just too good.