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Joanna Jedrzejczyk: I will never say Rose Namajunas is best strawweight

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CALGARY, Alberta — Rose Namajunas has said she would grant Joanna Jedrzejczyk another rematch if Jedrzejczyk admits that Namajunas is the best women’s strawweight fighter in the world.

Not going to happen, Jedrzejczyk said again Saturday night.

Jedrzejczyk, the former UFC women’s strawweight champion, defeated Tecia Torres by unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 30 here at ScotiaBank Saddledome. After losing the title to Namajunas last year and falling in the rematch at UFC 222 back in April, Jedrzejczyk is now back on the winning track — and she’s hell-bent on getting another shot at the 115-pound belt that she believes is rightfully hers.

Namajunas’ provision that Jedrzejczyk must acknowledge her as the best doesn’t seem to be in the cards, though.

“I will not do this,” Jedrzejczyk said at the post-fight press conference. “Never ever. She wants my honor? She must earn that. If she’s going to run, they’re going to make an interim belt. She was saying she’s afraid Conor McGregor will show up again and make a mess like he did before Brooklyn. He is not going to do this. Don’t be afraid, Rose. Come on. Just fight. Just face the best. You should face [Jessica] Andrade.

“If not, I will chase you. If you hold the belt, I will chase you. Until the next fight. That’s it.”

The top of the strawweight division is a bit muddled. Andrade, who Jedrzejczyk said she felt was the top contender, will face Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 228 on Sept. 8. Namajunas does not have a scheduled title defense as of now and presumably Andrade would get it if she wins. Jedrzejczyk, though, has beaten both Andrade and Kowalkiewicz — along with other strawweight contenders.

Jedrzejczyk, 30, is unsure why Namajunas doesn’t have any current plans for a title defense and she’s proposing the possibility of an interim title. Jedrzejczyk implied that she believes Namajunas might not be injured at all.

“I know how dedicated a fighter I am, how good [of an] employee I am for the UFC,” Jedrzejczyk said. “We all should be like this. Respect the work of the other UFC employees from the other side. The athlete department, the other departments. We should all respect each other, because we’re all working for one brand, for the UFC, for simply the best organization in the world. That’s it. If she’s injured, OK. But if she’s just playing, if she want to have holiday, let the UFC know that, ‘I want to have a holiday, I want to have a break.’ Let UFC make an interim belt and let’s fight for the belt.”

What Jedrzejczyk won’t do is move up to 125 pounds, which she has admitted is her best division. The Poland native is determined to win back the strawweight title and she said she has no plans to go to flyweight until she gets the belt back.

In Jedrzejczyk’s mind, the first loss to Namajunas, by first-round knockout, was due to a very bad weight cut and she blames it on her former nutrition team Perfecting Athletes. The loss in April was a close decision defeat and Jedrzejczyk believes she won.

So, under no circumstances is she prepared to call Namajunas the best strawweight, Jedrzejczyk said. She feels like because she helped put the 115-pound division on the map and defended the title five times in a tremendous run, she still lays claim to being the “strawweight queen.”

“No way I’ll say Rose is the best,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Maybe you beat me, you’re the champion and you won. But your legacy isn’t that big. You should bow down, because I am the queen.”


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