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Joanna Jedrzejczyk to Valerie Letourneau: 'I know you're afraid already'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Let the trash talk commence.

UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and challenger Valerie Letourneau got into a little back and forth Thursday during a UFC 193 media conference call, culminating in Jedrzejczyk telling Letourneau that she's "afraid already."

It's unclear what got the champ upset, but Jedrzejczyk was quick to throw some cold water on a confident Letourneau statement.

"Maybe she's going to have a bad surprise on Nov. 14," Letourneau said. "I feel like I've improved from my fights against Jessica Rakoczy to [Maryna] Moroz. I feel like I've improved 10 times more already between my fight with Moroz to now. I just can't wait to put it all there and to show what I'm capable of."

Letourneau (8-3) has two wins in a row since moving down to 115 pounds, over Rakoczy and Moroz, the latter in August. Jedrzejczyk (10-0), though, was quick to point out that Rakoczy and Moroz are not in her league.

"But I'm not Maryna Moroz and I am not Rakoczy," she chimed in. "I am Joanna Champion."

That promoted Letourneau to reassure her opponent: "I know you're a great fighter, Joanna. There's no doubt about it."

Jedrzejczyk wasn't done, though.

"Keep it in your mind," she said.

Letourneau shot back: "Don't worry about that."

The champ wasn't about to let the challenger get the last word, though. As UFC senior vice president of public relations Dave Sholler chimed in to let reporters know that he was still trying to get Ronda Rousey on the line after technical difficulties, Jedrzejczyk got in her last barb.

"I'm know you're afraid already," she told Letourneau.

Jedrzejczyk has been known to get into opponents' heads before fights. She did it against Carla Esparza when she was the challenger and then again versus Jessica Penne in June. The Poland native won both fights via TKO.

Earlier on the call, though, things were civil. The UFC has been criticized for making Letourneau the No. 1 contender. But Jedrzejczyk defended her.

"She's a very good striker," she said. I'm happy that I'm gonna face Valerie. ... She's the right person."

And despite the trash talk, Letourneau could not be happier to be in the co-main event in front of what will be a crowd of around 75,000 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia on Nov. 14.

"It's the best moment of my life," Letourneau said.

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