How much of a chance do you give Valerie Letourneau against Joanna Jedrzejczyk? How does that fight play out?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Considering that Tecia Torres, a teammate of Valerie Letourneau has been quoted as saying, “I think she’s great, and she’ll be champion for a while, but I don’t think she’s (unbeatable),” after Letourneau got the fight with Jedrzejczyk, I feel confident in saying that she literally has no chance of winning this fight. Teammates never predict their teammate to lose, so if Torres can do it, I can do it.
As for how I feel the fight plays out?
MICHAEL BANE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
To paraphrase the great Andy Bernard of The Office fame, if I had to put Valerie Letourneau’s chances into a percentage, I would say she has none percent chance. Now, if we want to look at numbers higher than zero, she has a 100% chance of having her face mashed into an unrecognizable mess. She has a moderate chance of killing MMA’s chances in New York (again) because of the sheer brutality and violence we’re going to witness. She has an eleventy-billion percent chance of making me stand up and scream “STOP THE FIGHT” at least once during the bout.
Maybe I’m biased. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is currently on my short list of must-see fighters. Her pin-point accuracy piston-like punches in bunches are too much for anyone else in that division to currently handle. The fight will play out like this: The champion will punch Letourneau in the face a lot, until the damage is enough that she either goes unconscious or the referee puts a merciful end to it.
Letourneau really doesn’t have anything to offer her. She’s not going to out-strike Jedrzejczyk. As we saw in the Carla Esparza fight, Joanna Champion’s takedown defense is just fine. And let’s be honest here, if you’re not taking her down, you’re standing on your feet getting punched in the face. Letourneau is a tough woman, but all that’s really going to do is enable her to take extra blows to the head. Ms. Champion is probably not, but I’m already looking ahead to a rematch with Claudia Gadelha. If Jedrzejczyk can win that one convincingly as well, she might have a very long run atop the 115 lb. division.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
It’s MMA, anyone can win at anytime. That’s a large part of the appeal. However, I don’t see that happening here. Joanna Champion is fighting at such a high level that there aren’t many who can hang with her, let alone beat her. We’ll see what happens, but I think Jedrzejczyk takes Letourneau apart on the feet and finishes the fight around the third round. Letourneau is tough, but Jedrzejczyk is such a badass that I can’t pick against her.
DAYNE FOX, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Have you seen who Letourneau has beaten? Nobody impressive, with exactly zero finishes in her three UFC victories. Now have you actually seen Joanna Champion in action over her last two bouts? She brutalized the then-champion Carla Esparza and stole the soul of Jessica Penne, two far more deserving contenders. What most people don’t realize is Joanna has only been an MMA fighter for three and a half years. She is still improving! Let me put it this way: she is an already dominant champion who is a long way from reaching her ceiling. I can’t disagree with the betting odds that make Letourneau the largest underdog ever.
[Photo (c) Tom Heitman via USA Today Sports]