Former strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk returns to the Octagon Saturday night to try to bounce back after consecutive losses to Rose Namajunas, and one of her former opponents thinks it could mark her last fight at 115 pounds.
Jessica Andrade, who expects to earn another shot at the belt if victorious against Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 228 on Sept. 8, doesn’t imagine Jedrzejczyk jumping the line and getting the next crack at Namajunas after Saturday’s UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary.
”I think that even if Joanna wins her next fight they still won’t give her (a title shot), it really is between Karolina and I,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “I think Joanna still has to do a couple of fights.”
Andrade admits she will “root for Tecia so I will be back in the No. 1 spot” in the strawweight rankings, especially since she’s coming off a decision victory over Torres in February, and predicts a three-round win for “The Tiny Tornado”.
”Joanna has a very aggressive style, but her strikes aren’t as powerful as it used to be,” Andrade said. “She doesn’t hit that hard. She has speed, but doesn’t hit too hard. Tecia is a tough opponent, both standing and on the ground, and has evolved a lot. She hits hard and can take a punch. It’s a tough fight to predict, but I’m rooting for Tecia. I like her and Raquel (Pennington), and I think Tecia wins via decision.”
Jedrzejczyk has dominated the division since dethroning Carla Esparza and capturing the 115-pound gold in March 2015, being considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet after a 8-0 run in the Octagon, and her losing three straight would be unimaginable a year ago.
”I think Joanna enters fight fight a little weaker because she’s coming off two losses, with no rhythm, a bit scared because she was never in this position before,” Andrade said. “She could be at risk or maybe getting cut or something like that, so she might get in there a bit confused, but also hungrier to win. She will have to deal with that when she gets hit, it will scare her. Fighters’ head are crazy, you don’t understand everything clearly until you get punched for the first time [laughs].
”Who knows, if he loses again she might move up in weight. I think 125 is better for her now [laughs].”