clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

TUF 23 Finale results: Joanna Jedrzejczyk withstands early trouble, dominates late to retain strawweight title

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The first time they fought, Joanna Jedrzejczyk got her hand raised in a great three-round fight with Claudia Gadelha.

This time, the women's strawweight champion Jedrzejczyk got her arm raised after a great five-round fight. And just like the first time, both women had their moments in what was a great main event at Friday night's Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale.

The Polish champ withstood early trouble through the first two rounds, and began to turn the tide in the third round. With Gadelha fading as the fight went on, Jedrzejczyk was just getting rolling. She showcased her precise striking stills well into the championship rounds in dominating Gadehla down the stretch.

Jedrzejczyk (12-0) proved that she has the heart of a champion by taking home a unanimous decision victory (48-46, 48-45, 48-46).

"I feel great," Jedrzejczyk said afterwards. "We knew it was going to be a really tough fight with Claudia Gadelha. Like I said after our first fight, she's number one and I'm the champion, and I have so much respect for her."

She then squashed the beef between her and Gadelha, sharing a hug and a moment with her rival.

The co-main event saw TUF 23 light heavyweight finalists Andrew Sanchez and Khalil Rountree square off, and it was Sanchez who used his wrestling for three rounds to neutralize the heavy-handed puncher. Sanchez dominated the fight, executing his game plan to frustrate Rountree by taking him down and keeping him there.

The scorecards reflected the one-sided beating, 30-25, 30-25, 30-26).

In the TUF 23 strawweight finals, Tatiana Suarez was able to score a submission victory (D'Arce choke) over her Team Claudia Gadelha teammate Amanda Cooper to become the "Ultimate Fighter."

The end came at 3:43 of the first round.

"I'm just really happy, because she said something that stuck out in my head," Suarez said in her post-fight interview. "She said I'm going to break Tatiana. Let me tell you something. I've been through hell and back. I've overcome cancer and I'm from a place that says, 'we don't break, we break people.' We don't break, and I will never break. I've overcome a lot, I'm never going to stop, until I'm at the top. I'm coming."

Former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks made his UFC debut, and he got a very tough challenge in Ross Pearson. The two went toe-to-toe for three rounds, and in the end Brooks (19-1) took home a unanimous decision victory over the Englishman, 29-28 three times on the scorecards.

"Eddie Alvarez, hold onto that belt for a little bit," Brooks said afterwards, directing his message to the new lightweight champion. "You got a win from me in that other organization. I'm here now. I want to take that."

Korea's Doo Ho Choi continued his streak of first-round dominance by knocking out veteran Thiago Tavares. After the Brazilian took Choi down a couple of times early, Choi (15-1) landed a beautiful right hand, and after delivering just a single follow-up strike as Tavares fell the fight was called off by referee Herb Dean.

Choi is now 3-0 in the UFC, all of his victories coming via first-round finish.

In prelim action, one-time lightweight contender Gray Maynard — who was competing in his first fight as a featherweight — snapped a four-fight skid by defeating Fernando Bruno via a unanimous decision. The 37-year-old Maynard's last victory occurred over four years ago against Clay Guida.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting