Joanna Jędrzejczyk is all set for an Octagon return.
The UFC strawweight champ is set to defend her title for a sixth time against the No. 3-ranked Rose Namajunas at UFC 217 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 4, 2017. It joins a UFC middleweight championship bout between Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping as well:
Jędrzejczyk is currently undefeated in her mixed martial arts (MMA) career with a spotless record of 14-0. The Polish knockout artist has racked up wins over the likes of Claudia Gadelha (twice), Carla Esparza, Jessica Penne, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Jessica Andrade, and many more. The 29-year-old champ continues to make a name for herself and build her case of being considered the most dominant female champion in MMA today.
Namajunas has only had nine professional MMA fights in her career, however, she has already solidified herself as one of the baddest women in the world at 115 pounds at just 25 years of age. “Thug” lost out on the opportunity to become the division’s innaugural champion back in December of 2014 when she lost to Carla Esparza, however, she bounced back with wins over Angela Hill, Paige VanZant, and Tecia Torres.
After suffering a split decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in July of last year, Namajunas earned her shot at the 115-pound title by defeating “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson via second round submission this past April.
Now, “Thug” is hoping to pull off the upset when she takes on “Joanna Champion” at Madison Square Garden later this year, earning her first career UFC title.
In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Jedrzejczyk picked Waterson to beat Namajunas, then recalled the day she met Namajunas at a UFC event.
“The thing is, like, I met her in Denver,” Jedrzejczyk said. “We shake hands, we spoke to each other. And two days after, I heard that she was like, ‘oh, I want to beat Joanna.’ Shut up. You had your chance to beat Karolina (Kowalkiewicz) and Carla Esparza before, and some others, but you just lost. Come on. Work hard, get your ass to the gym, put on better fights, and you’re going to get this title shot.
“But be honest. If you don’t like me, don’t shake my hand and don’t talk to me. Don’t talk behind my back. I’m kind of a straight person and this is what makes me mad. I’m good with that, but I think Michelle Waterson will [beat] Rose.”
Fresh off her win over Waterson, Namajunas called her meeting with the champion “just an awkward encounter” where the Polish star went for a hug while Namajunas expected a handshake.
“There’s just the way I am,” Namajunas said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I respect my competition. I think I don’t have to hate somebody in order to fight them, so, yeah, why wouldn’t I wanna fight her? She’s the champ. I wanna fight the best.
“I’m obviously coming for that belt, so I think she knows it’s inevitable that I’m coming for her,” she continued. “Or whether or not she wins, I’m coming for the belt. I’m a threat.”
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