It wasn't the shocking knockout the first fight produced, but in a way, it was more emphatic. Rose Namajunas took everything Joanna Jedrzejczyk threw at her, answered back, and in the end, limped away with a unanimous decision victory to retain her strawweight title at UFC 223.
Namajunas got off to a fast start, winning the first two rounds with a counter punching. Jedrzejczyk played the long game, chopping away at the legs of the champion in hopes she would slow down. Jedrzejczyk climbed back in the fight in the middle rounds, but Namajunas remained undeterred. Her leg lead leg was fifty shades of red, but Jedrzejczyk's right eye was nearly swollen shut.
Before the judges scorecards were announced, many thought it would be decided by the fifth round. Here's how Fightful saw the final frame:
Round Five: The round begins with Jedrzejczyk attacking Namajunas with leg kicks, Namajunas catches Jedrzejczyk with a four punch combination. Namajunas starts catching Jedrzejczyk with some leg kicks of her own, Namajunas starts catching Jedrzejczyk with some lefts. Namajunas eats a knee strike before attacking Jedrzejczyk with more combinations, Namajunas then cracks Jedrzejczyk with an elbow strike followed by an uppercut. Jedrzejczyk attempts a high kick and Namajunas blocks it, Jedrzejczyk attacks Namajunas with combos of her own. Namajunas backs up Jedrzejczyk with a push kick, Jedrzejczyk catches a swinging Namajunas with a counter left. Namajunas attacks a kicking Jedrzejczyk with some rights, Namajunas scores a takedown on Jedrzejczyk and she nails her with a few strikes as the round ends.
It turned out, the final round wasn't as important as spectators thought as all three judges scored the fight 49-46.
Jedrzejczyk outlanded Namajunas in signifacnt strikes, but the damage she wore on her face was more telling than the damage done to the champions leg. The fight displayed not only the heart of both competitors, but the technical skill level of each.
The victory marked Namajunas' first title defense. She now holds two victories over Jedrzejczyk. At 25-years-old, she's only getting better.