On December 7th at UFC Fight Night 33 “Hunt vs. Bigfoot” Julie Kedzie (16-12) will receive a second shot at scoring a win in the UFC octagon as she faces off with Brazilian prospect Bethe “Pitbull” Correia (6-0) in Brisbane, Australia. Kedzie was originally slated to fight Russian MMA prospect Aleksandra Albu, but an undisclosed injury forced Albu off of the card.
I believe that Julie Kedzie is a member of the “Women’s MMA Mt. Rushmore” along side Tara LaRosa, Debi Purcell and Shayna Baszler. Kedzie made her MMA debut on March 27th, 2004 against Terry Blair at HOOKSHOOT: Live, where Kedzie came out victorious with a second round armbar submission win. Just 5 fights later, Kedzie managed to win the 2005 HOOKnSHOOT Grand Prix beating Molly Hesel by split decision in the final. To put this into perspective, HOOKnSHOOT was one of the few organizations that actually promoted women’s MMA and really helped to showcase women’s MMA as a sport, rather than a spectacle. That being said, winning the 2005 Grand Prix really put Kedzie on the map as a serious contender in women’s MMA. After a 27-fight career, spanning 9 years, Julie Kedzie finally made it to the big show. On July 27th, Julie Kedzie faced Germaine de Randamie at UFC on Fox “Johnson vs. Moraga”, and lost the fight by a narrow split decision. Randamie utilized constant clinch work on Kedzie to snatch the win.
It’s a shame that only now, in the year 2013, the UFC is allowing women to compete. Julie Kedzie is pioneer whose persistence in the dark-ages of MMA allowed for superstars Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey to emerge and receive so much attention. Don’t let the 16-12 record deceive you; Julie Kedzie has been in there with some of the toughest women to compete in the sport of mixed martial arts. Kedzie holds notable wins over Jan Finney (3x), Kaitlin Young and Invicta MMA prospect Sarah D’Alelio. Some of Kedzie’s key losses have come to Shayna Baszler, Tonya Evinger, Gina Carano, Tara LaRosa and two UFC women’s bantamweight contenders in Miesha Tate and Alexis Davis. The point to take away from this is that Kedzie has only struggled with the upper echelon of the sport.
This is a classic old school vs. new school match-up. It feels wrong placing the “old school vs. new school” label on this fight, as Julie Kedzie is only 2 years older than Correia, but the extreme disparity in experience definitely warrants this label. Pitbull made her MMA debut just 19 months ago on May 31st, 2012 and is coming into this fight with a perfect 6-0 record with 5 wins coming by way of unanimous decision and 1 win coming by way of TKO. The Brazilian, like much of her new-generational peers, comes into this fight very well rounded with an aggressive style of Muay-Thai as well as solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Breakdown of fight:
This is going to be an interesting fight as Correia is being thrown to the wolves, and I’m curious to see how she fares. After being controlled in the clinch by de Randamie, I would hope that Kedzie has worked on her striking and counter wrestling. If there is one standout thing to say about Julie Kedzie, it is that she is an extremely well rounded fighter. Kedzie is going to have answers for everything that Correia bring into this fight. Kedzie may not have a lot of finishes on her record (3 knockouts and 3 submissions), but her durability, experience and technical skill have earned her 10 career decision wins. I expect Kedzie to bring the fight to the Brazilian early and test her toughness. Expect Kedzie to use her kickboxing prowess to beat-up on the Brazilian in the first and take her down in the second to score a submission finish.
My Prediction: Julie Kedzie via Submission in the 2nd.