In only her third UFC fight, Joanna Jędrzejczyk defeated Carla Esparza to claim the women's strawweight title. She dominated the bout before securing the finish late in the second round. Jędrzejczyk registered a career-high 1603 StrikeScore for the performance. To put that number into perspective, it is the highest-rated striking performance among all current champion's title-claiming victories. In fact, it is nearly four times the rating that T.J. Dillashaw scored for his dynamic upset of then-champion Renan Barao.
The Polish fighter returned for her first title defense last June. At UFC Fight Night 69, Jessica Penne was introduced to the buzz saw. The referee mercifully stopped the fight near the end of round 3. Jędrzejczyk's StrikeScore for the bout was 722, which is the second highest for a title defense among current champions. Rousey's 16 second destruction of Alexis Davis is the only higher-rated striking performance.
Valérie Létourneau earned her shot on the back on three-straight decision victories inside the UFC. She will become the first ever "The Ultimate Fighter" contestant that lost in the "get into the house round" to fight for a UFC title. Previous non-season-winning TUF veterans are 1-9-1 in their attempts to claim a title (the only successful challenger was Dillashaw).
Despite her winning streak, Létourneau's victories hardly compare with the striking dominance displayed by the champion. The following graph shows both of the fighters' last three performances and their overall career StrikeScore (career includes all fights listed in FightMetric.com)
Obviously there is a sizable gap in striking performance between the two fighters. However, the dominance of Jędrzejczyk is even more impressive when you consider the level of competition. By no means has Létourneau faced a line of tomato cans, but Jędrzejczyk has clearly faced the tougher schedule. The chart below shows the highest quarterly ranking of the fighters' opponents according to FightMatrix. Since the UFC's 115-pound women's division has a relatively short history and their opponents may not have been as highly ranked at the time, the comparison uses the highest quarterly ranking to find a more fair measure of their accomplishments and prowess as competitors