UFC women’s strawweight champion, and increasingly legendary purveyor of carnage, Joanna Jedrzejczyk returns to action in Dallas on Saturday, co-headlining UFC 211 in a bout with Jessica Andrade.
If successful, the Polish superstar will secure her fifth title defense, only one away from the record for a female titleholder held by Ronda Rousey.
And Dallas is where it all began.
In 2015, Jedrzejczyk was a relatively unknown challenger tackling a champion who had won her belt on a reality show, Carla Esparza. The titleholder was the classic grinding wrestler who was known to give strikers fits, and she’d won five fights in a row going into her first title defense.
Most felt Jedrzejczyk was cannon fodder for a champion gaining momentum as she entered her prime.
Most were wrong. There was definitely cannon fodder in the cage that night, but it wasn't Jedrzejczyk.
For nearly two rounds, the challenger relentlessly stalked the champion, stuffing her takedowns and punishing her for even trying. And not just "punishing"—punishing.
It was vicious. It was violent. It was nasty.
It was like something out of a nature documentary, the sinewy, lithe predator cornering its supper and finishing the job. You knew you were watching the arrival of someone special, someone who wouldn't be beaten for a long time.
Two years later, no one has come particularly close. Esparza was never the same, and a host of other women have been left permanently broken or otherwise disfigured after being on the wrong side of some Polish power.
Check out some slow-motion highlights in the clip below to remember what happened the last time Joanna Champion took over Dallas before you're watching her in action on Saturday night.