A new year has arrived, and to start off the new year this Saturday the UFC Fight Island 7 card is headlined by former featherweight champion Max Holloway taking on the surging Calvin Kattar. Also on the card is Carlos Condit vs Matt Brown, then returning Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Jingliang Li, and more. Yanan Wu (11-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) was supposed to fight Bethe Correia. Correira had to withdraw however, and newcomer Joselyne Edwards steps in.
Joselyne “La Pantera” Edwards
How will Edwards fare in the UFC:
Joselyne Edwards is a fun fighter but still very raw. She’s fought mostly low-level competition and will now just jump right into top competition in the UFC.
Edwards doesn’t shy away from exchanging on the mat but she’s by far a better striker. After all, she was a member of the Panama national boxing team. Using her long-range Edwards looks to snipe girls on the outside. She has a nice long jab, a good lower calf kick, and a dynamite one-two that she throws. “La Pantera” has both the volume and power to put girls away. From the start, she’s very aggressive with her output and forward pressure.
Where Edwards shines is on the feet, but where she loses that shine is takedown defense. Edwards struggles badly to keep her back off the cage. She doesn’t fight under hooks or wrists, instead just grabbing the head (or trying too) and just accepting going to her back. Edwards is a purple belt in jiu-jitsu and a national champion. She does look decent off her back but against a good positional grappler she will struggle. It would have served her better to get a few more fights on the regional scene since she is only 25. Still, when the UFC calls, you answer. Edwards may do well but if she doesn’t run through girls quickly she could be in trouble.
- Striking: B+
- Kickboxing: B-
- Clinch: C
- Wrestling: C
- Grappling: C+
- Striking Defense: C+
- Takedown Defense: C-
- Cardio: B
- Biggest Strength: Striking
- Biggest Weakness: TDD
How Edwards matches up with Wu:
Wu is a decent fighter but not necessarily UFC caliber. The question is whether Edwards is UFC caliber or not. Wu is a good striker but struggles to get into rhythm and find her range. Her defensive grappling is okay but her takedown defense needs work. Edwards should be the better striker and Wu would be wise to try and control Edwards against the cage and work takedowns. The volume of Edwards has me edging towards her but it’s a close fight.