Joanna Jedrzejczyk is no new-comer to kicking ass. She may be more recent to the MMA game, but as five-time Muay Thai world champion, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Jessica Penne aims to find out how much of a force, and if that fore has any weaknesses that she can exploit. She aims to make Joanna Jedrzejczyk's reign atop the strawweight kingdom a short one.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk took down Carla Esparza back in March. Doing so put a target on her back.
"Joanna is a great fighter but I think she's still growing into the MMA game," Jessica Penne said, assessing her chances as good.
Jedrzejczyk will put her belt up for Penne to give her best shot at UFC Fight Night Berlin on Saturday.
— #UFCBerlin (@ufc) June 20, 2015
For her part, Jedrzejczyk does not sound worried.
"To be a champion, you must be focused because there is always going to be somebody who wants to take the belt from you," Jedrzejczyk said. "She [Penne] is a dangerous opponent and she has got lots of experience so I need to be focused from the beginning. She is really dangerous on the ground and I am full of respect for her. I think it is going to be an interesting fight for me, for her and for the fans."
Both fighters have spoken about the glory of wearing the strawweight belt, the focus it takes to get there, and what it would mean to them to get it and/or defend it.
Penne confidently proclaimed, "My goal is to get the UFC strawweight title. It's every fighters dream to fight for a world title on a big stage. I've been in big fights before but this is the biggest of my career. I feel like it's my time and I'm exactly where I need to be.
"My confidence is high and I think I match up very well against her. I plan to bring the fight to her but I'm comfortable wherever the fight goes and I'm prepared for anything. I see my hand raised."
— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) June 20, 2015
For her part, Jedrzejczyk has already tasted that victory, and she doesn't intend to let it slip away anytime soon.
"On March 14th, my biggest dream came true. I was full of emotion and just so happy, you know. Now, it's my dream to keep winning and keep being the champion. We are going to keep training and keep working hard and I am going to be a champion for a long time.
"I dreamed of being on UFC posters. I dreamed of this opportunity. It's just amazing and it really means a lot to me. I fought with the best fighters, you know, that's why I got the chance to fight Carla for the belt. Now they must do the same. I will fight them one by one, and I am not going to let them take the belt from me."
— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) June 19, 2015