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Will Joanna Jedrzejczyk play mind games with Jessica Penne? 'We'll see how she's gonna react'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Joanna Jedrzejczyk believes she had the mental edge over Carla Esparza before the two even got into the Octagon at UFC 185.

"I think I broke her mentally," Jedrzejczyk told "She didn't know what to expect from me in the fight."

During fight week, Jedrzejczyk did a lot of talking to Esparza, telling her she -- not Esparza -- was the best in the world at women's strawweight. Jedrzejczyk then went in and proved that, stopping Esparza in the second round by TKO to win the 115-pound title on March 14 in Dallas.

Jedrzejczyk (9-0) is wildly confident and she's not afraid to show it off. But she is not sure how she'll handle her next opponent, Jessica Penne, during fight week. Jedrzejczyk will defend the belt against Penne at UFC Fight Night 69 on June 20 in Berlin, Germany.

Everything Jedrzejczyk did with Esparza, she said, just happened at the spur of the moment. Nothing was planned or rehearsed. Jedrzejczyk doesn't believe in trash talk.

"I don't have time for it," Jedrzejczyk said. "It's natural emotion. We will see what's gonna happen. We'll see how she's gonna react."

The original plan was for the Poland native to take some time off after beating Esparza and fight one more time this year. Then, Alexander Gustafsson got hurt and had to pull out of his UFC Fight Night 69 main event against Glover Teixeira. Jedrzejczyk had no problem stepping in to save the card. Though she enjoys fighting in the United States, she understands her responsibility to be a draw for the UFC in Europe and embraces it.

"Alexander Gustafsson, he's the biggest fighter in Europe," Jedrzejczyk said. "I like him so much and I hope I'm gonna be the biggest in Europe next to him."

Penne, who was pulled from a fight with Juliana Lima later this month in Brazil, as an opponent wasn't entirely surprising since she was coming off a win over another highly ranked strawweight in Randa Markos at the Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale in December. Many felt that Claudia Gadelha should have gotten the first crack at Jedrzejczyk since their December fight was so close. Jedrzejczyk, though, is not one of those people.

"I think after she lost with me, she should fight [again] and if she wins, she could be a contender," the champion said.

Gadelha pulled out of a fight with Aisling Daly last month in Poland due to injury. She has not fought since falling by split decision to Jedrzejczyk at UFC on FOX 13. The Brazilian, though, believes she should have won the fight on the judges' scorecard. Jedrzejczyk disagrees and doesn't necessarily think she's more deserving of a title shot than the other contenders in the division.

"There are gonna be other good girls," Jedrzejczyk said. "I don't know. It's all about the UFC, matchmakers. It's their decision. If they want me to fight with Claudia again, I will do this."

Right now she has to focus on Penne. She was already training before she got the call from the UFC, so that made the decision to take the fight easier. Jedrzejczyk said Penne was a dangerous opponent, because of her grappling. Esparza, a better wrestler, was not able to take Jedrzejczyk down, though. Jedrzejczyk is hoping for more of the same.

"She's not a good wrestler, but when she's on the ground she's doing well," Jedrzejczyk said of Penne. "Anything can happen. It's a fight. I will try to not make a mistake and stay off the ground and keep on striking."

Right now, the only war Jedrzejczyk is worried about is the one that will happen inside the cage. As far as any fight week antics, she's keeping things close to the vest.

"We will see what's gonna happen when I see her," Jedrzejczyk said.

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