Joanna Jedrzejczyk has faced some outstanding fighters during her eight years on the UFC roster, but when it comes to which one of those women hit her the hardest, the answer might surprise.
Jedrzejczyk (16-4) will go down as one of the greatest strawweight, and pound-for-pound, female UFC competitors of all time. She won her first eight fights in the promotion, carried the division on her back as a champion for over two years, and has taken part in a few of the best fights in division history. She even took a one-fight foray up to flyweight to face that weight classes current champ and GOAT Valentina Shevchenko.
During her stint in the organization, she has faced many of the best 115-pound fighters the industry had to offer. Such as former and current division champions in Carla Esparza, Rose Namajunas, Jessica Andrade, Zhang Weili, and the aforementioned 125-pound queen Shevchenko. All of them are talented fighters and most of them are known for their ability to put a hurting on opponents with their fists. Yet none of those championship-level competitors hit the Polish MMA superstar the hardest.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk names the woman who punched her the hardest
During an appearance on the American Top Team-backed podcast “Punchin’ In” Jedrzejczyk revealed which former foe hit her the hardest. And while Namajunas — a woman that beat her twice and once by technical knockout — made the top two, it was her championship challenger from UFC on FOX 13, in 2014, that was bestowed with this unique honor.
“I think Rose. The first [fight with Namajunas], I don’t remember. I didn’t feel the power. I just went to sleep, but there were some things that happened before the fight. In the second fight, I felt she was hitting pretty hard, but you know who hit the hardest? Valerie Letourneau. She was the hardest puncher I have ever fought,” Jedrzejczyk said. … So Valerie and then Rose.”
Like Jedrzejczyk, Letourneau’s first pro combat sport was kickboxing. She eventually made the move to MMA in 2007 and sporadically fought in the cage until she was signed by the UFC seven years later. After winning three straight in the Octagon, she earned her title shot against Jedrzejczyk and lost by unanimous decision.
The Montreal native won 10 of her 17 fights in the cage and earned knockouts in half of those victories. She has not fought since a 2018 title fight defeat to former Bellator flyweight champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane.
Jedrzejczyk has not fought since March of 2020, and a return date or opponent is still not set for the former UFC champion.
Are you surprised Letourneau was the hardest-hitting former Jedrzejczyk opponent, and it wasn’t Shevchenko?