Except, things didn't quite turn out that way. In a grueling fight capped by a controversial decisions, Joanna Jedrzejczyk eked out a split decision at UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix. The Polish standout remained unbeaten by taking two of three 29-28 scores.
"She's a tough girl, I just tried to do my best," said Jedrzejczyk. "I knew it was going to be 50/50. I did my job, she did her job."
In the opening round, Gadelha (12-1) was in control until the closing seconds. That's when Jedrzejczyk (8-0) blasted her with a monstrous right uppercut that dropped her and nearly finished the fight. Gadelha was saved by the bell.
Gadelha regained her bearings in round two, however, outwrestling her opponent in what appeared to be her round.
The opening moments of the final round featured an accidental headbutt which opened a nasty cut over Gadelha's right eye. She was cleared to continue after being checked by the doctor. Then she went out and dominated the remainder of the ground, outgrappling, outstriking, and bloodying her foe.
There was controversy in the seconds after the fight. Jedrzejczyk landed a punch clearly after the horn and after the referee separated the two. Gadelha took exception and clocked her in return.
The result leaves open the question of Esparza's next challenger. Esparza and Gadelha were twice scheduled to fight in Invicta, but twice Gadelha had to pull out.