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Who wins the Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk title fight at UFC 185, and how?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I'm still trying to figure out how Jedrzejczyk got her hand raised against Claudia Gadelha. It was a fun fight, she showed solid striking skills, and a lot of heart, but she lost that fight. Carla Esparza's a much higher level fighter than anyone else in this division in the UFC, and, just like Johny Hendricks vs. Matt Brown, if you have any doubt about who to pick, pick the fighter who can dictate the terms of the fight. Esparza's going to win this; the only question is if she gets the finish or not.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Esparza retains with a fourth round submission win. Jedrzejczyk is good, but Esparza is a bit better. I think it's close for most of the fight, but then Esparza pulls away in the championship rounds. I think Esparza will clearly be winning but will push forward and get the finish in exciting fashion.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Esparza is the best fighter in her division in the world, not just in the UFC. She won't lose that belt anytime soon, and I see a decision win coming for her here without too much effort. She's going to win, and in dominant fashion.
TOM STRONG, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
Despite being the first ever UFC women's Strawweight Champion, I'm really not completely sold on Carla Esparza. Still, unlike her opponent, Esparza knows how to finish a fight, with seven of her ten wins coming via TKO or submission. If Esparza can get in close and gain the takedowns she needs I could see a late stoppage win.
But... Joanna will have the size and reach advantage over Esparza, which could be key in the fight, if she can stuff the takedowns that will be coming her way and use her reach advantage, I fancy Joanna's chances of picking up the win and becoming the new champion.
Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk UD
CASH NORMAN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The champ came to be the champ for a reason, and I expect it to remain that way. Carla Esparza has always had a dominant, ground you down type wrestling. However, now she has added improved striking as well. Esparza's ability to dictate where the fight takes place will be to her advantage.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk may have great muay thai skills, but what happens the first time she throws a kick or punch and Esparza takes her down? Will Joanna be able to effectively fend off multiple takedown attempts? I think Esparza will time Jedrzejczyk's striking, take her down, and submit her.
Prediction: Esparza by submission
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