LOS ANGELES -- JJ Aldrich trains with Rose Namajunas and was on Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s team in “The Ultimate Fighter.”
It appears working with the greatest strawweight fighters in UFC history is rubbing off on the Colorado resident.
Aldrich employed a smart game plan against Polyana Viana on Saturday night at UFC 227 and was rewarded with it with her third consecutive victory. The judges’ scores at Staples Center were a pair of 29-28s and a 29-27 for a unanimous decision.
The opening round was something of a stalemate, with plenty of grinding clinch work. Viana scored a trip and turned it into a guillotine, but Aldrich escaped and the duo resumed their clinch game.
Things opened up somewhat in the second, as both competitors had their moments in the standup. Viana used front kicks to follow up with combos, and Aldrich, while wary of Viana’s kicks, managed close the distance and landed unquestionably the harder shots, connecting with straight hands and hooks. The fight hit the ground later in the round with Viana starting out with dominant position but Aldrich righting things before the horn.
Early in the third, Viana pulled guard, but couldn’t do much with it, as Aldrich maintained posture and eventually escaped back to her feet of her own volition. While the action the rest of the way wasn’t exactly frenetic, Aldrich was more active and again scored with straight punches, helping to seal the decision.
“She’s an amazing jiu-jitsu person so I want to wear her down and I wanted to be smart,” Aldrich said. “She’s a tough girl, and I just wanted to have a smart fight.”
Aldrich improved to 7-2, while Viana (10-2) had a six-fight win streak snapped.