This season, both the women’s strawweight division and the men’s light heavyweight division will be competing, and the end of the season, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha fight on the TUF 23 Finale with Joanna Champion defending her strawweight title.
Last week, Team Jedrzejczyk finally got their first win when “The Sandman” Josh Stansbury was able to knock off Abdel Medjedoub via majority decision. That was the good news. The bad news is that Team Gadelha member Cory Hendricks has a pinched nerve or bulging disc in his neck, and it’s so serious he might be medically DQ’d.
The final fight of the first round is Ashley Yoder from Team Jedrzejczyk vs. Kate Jackson from Team Gadelha. The interesting twist on this whole thing is that Jackson has actually fought Jedrzejczyk before — losing a fight by TKO back in 2013. She hails from Cornwall, England, but you could guess that just from her accent.
Gadelha is very impressed by watching Jackson spar, saying she has incredible body strength, and the Brazilian coaches describe her as having “a beast” in her body. Watching her throw knee strikes it’s hard to disagree.
Dr. Jeffrey Davidson, M.D. is back with news for Hendricks: he doesn’t have a herniated disc, just a protrusion. With physical therapy, ice and ibuprofen his prospects for recover are good – the doctor says we’ll know for sure in 4-5 days.
The focus switches for a bit to Gadelha going to Xtreme Couture to train for her own fight, because she’s working hard to prepare for her rematch with Jedrzejczyk at the TUF 23 Finale in Vegas. “I beat her the first time and I’m gonna beat her again.” She can say that all she wants but Jedrzejczyk gave her the only loss of her career.
We see Jedrzejczyk preparing in her own way, enjoying a post workout dinner with her coaches and her team, and then she heads to Drysdale Jiu-Jitsu to get her work in. She vows that she’s going to finish Gadelha. “It’s going to be striker vs. grappler but I’m going to prove strikers are the best in UFC. I want to fight her five rounds and beat her badly, second by second.”
At weigh-ins, Yoder is 115.5 and Jackson is 115. Yoder vows to win the fight in the memory of her deceased brother. Jackson vows to show people what she’s capable of and move on to be a UFC pro.
– Ashley Yoder (Team Jedrzejczyk) vs. Kate Jackson (Team Gadelha)
Yoder is 4-1, Jackson is 7-2-1. Yoder is in the red and Jackson the black. Jackson has a takedown 15 seconds into R1 but Yoder is trying to throw her legs up around Jackson’s neck. She finally breaks free and lands a few hammerfists. A stand-up is threatened for inactivity at 1:28. Jackson responds with hammer but eats a few upkicks, and Yoder is warned by John McCarthy to target them carefully. Yoder is going for a submission again. Jackson’s arm could be in danger but McCarthy wants to see more. Jackson just can’t get free this time. You can see blood leaking out of her mouth on the back of Yoder’s leg. A strange first round but Jackson survived it.
Jackson goes for a single leg in the first minute of R2 that’s stuffed. Jackson goes for a takedown but Yoder nearly takes her back in the process, and she’s already hunting for another submission attempt. Jackson gets her left arm free for a few shots to the face while McCarthy calls for more work. McCarthy stands them up at 2:47. Jackson shoots right away. They break at 3:32. Yoder may have been hurt by a head kick but she’s not down and out. Jackson is tagging her with lefts repeatedly. Another takedown is stuffed. This goes to the judges.
20-18 X3 FOR KATE JACKSON. Team Gadelha finishes the first round 7-1.
– Andrew Sanchez vs. Eric Spicely
– Amanda Cooper vs. Lanchana Green
– Tatiana Suarez vs. Kate Jackson
– osh Stansbury vs. Cory Hendricks