Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has a knack for getting under her opponent’s skin with her up close and personal staredowns, which prove to be intimidating for some.
Prime examples here and here.
Rose Namajunas, however, is as stone-faced as they come, as she wasn’t rattled by Joanna when they came face-to-face for the first time last week during a press conference to promote their upcoming title fight at UFC 217 on Nov. 4, 2017 in New York.
That’s because unlike many of the champ’s past foes, “Thug Rose” isn’t scared of the longtime titleholder, and won’t lose the fight before it begins.
“I think that they almost lose the fight before it even starts,” Namajunas said about Jedrzejczyk’s past opposition in a recent interview with Flo Combat. “You see that with all the greatest in the world or all the greatest of all time. They all have this intimidation factor and it’s for a reason. It’s not just, ‘Oh, they play mind games.’ They can smell it off of them. They’re not joking around. I think that a lot of the opponents she’s faced, not all of them, but they’re afraid of her and it shows.”
Aside from Joanna’s pre-fight intimidation tactics, she’s a pretty good fighter, too, as she has racked up five straight title defenses, and hasn’t tasted defeat in her entire mixed marital arts (MMA) career (14-0, 8-0 UFC).
Namajunas, meanwhile, won’t let the champ’s accolades shake her, either, as she says Joanna has yet to face a complete fighter such as her self.
“I’m definitely the most complete fighter she’s ever faced. I have that going into it,” Namajunas said. “I have the previous title fight experience going into it. I have a lot of things going for me. It all really comes to do to desire and want and what is the reasoning behind what I’m doing and when I have those things in line, I snap into myself. I become something that is just a work of art and it’s hard to touch,” she concluded.
Namajunas has experienced an up-and-down career, but recently turned it around by submitting Michelle Waterson at UFC on FOX 24 earlier this year (see it) to earn another shot at reclaiming the 115-pound strap after coming up short against Carla Esparza in the first-ever women’s strawweight title fight back in 2014.
Can she get the job done the second time around?