NEW YORK — Don’t call it a punch.
UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk said she didn’t throw a blow at Rose Namajunas after the UFC 217 pre-fight press conference Thursday at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. During their staredown, Jedrzejczyk outstretched her right arm and her fist did connect with Namajunas’ nose. But, the UFC strawweight champion wrote on Instagram, that it was not a punch.
“That wasn’t a punch, a punch would have knocked her out, it was just a tap,” Jedrzejczyk wrote.
Namajunas barely reacted to said “tap,” but then flipped some rowdy fans an obscene gesture afterward.
Jedrzejczyk will defend her title against Namajunas at UFC 217 on Saturday night. The Poland native has a chance to tie Ronda Rousey’s women’s record for most title defenses with six. “Joanna Champion” has been attempting to get in Namajunas’ head for weeks, from a heated staredown last month to calling her “mentally unstable” on a conference call.
Namajunas will be getting her second chance at the title, after losing to Carla Esparza in the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight title bout in 2014.