Reigning UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will seek to defend her title for the fifth time when she takes on Jessica Andrade on May 13 at UFC 211. And after that, Jedrzejczyk already has her next opponent in mind: former Invicta FC titleholder Michelle Waterson, who meets Rose Namajunas in a high-profile title eliminator on April 15 at UFC on FOX 24.
“I’m impressed with her,” Jedrzejczyk said of Waterson on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “Let’s see. She has a good fight coming up with Rose, so we will see. We will see. I think that she might be my next challenger after I beat Jessica.”
Following UFC on FOX 24, the winner of Namajunas vs. Waterson will most likely stand as the highest ranked strawweight in the UFC’s official media-generated rankings to not have already suffered a loss to Jedrzejczyk (excluding Andrade).
Waterson is thus far 2-0 in the UFC, having picked up impressive wins over Angela Magana and Paige VanZant, the latter of which drew the biggest UFC television audience in nearly three years. Namajunas, meanwhile, is 3-2 in the UFC, but has sandwiched quality wins over VanZant, Tecia Torres, and Angela Hill between disappointing losses to Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Carla Esparza.
And when it comes down to it, Jedrzejczyk doesn’t sound too impressed by what she has seen and heard from “Thug Rose.”
“You know what’s weird? Like, I met Rose. I have so much respect for this girl,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I think she’s one of the most talented strawweights in the UFC, but she needs more experience. But, I think there is something wrong with her head.
“She got her chance to fight the Polish chick. But she lost to her and now she says ‘oh, I want to fight Joanna, I want to beat her, I know how to beat her.’ Come on. Get your chance, beat the best, and become a challenger. It’s so crazy.”
Jedrzejczyk pointed to a recent meeting she had with Namajunas to further illustrate what she meant.
“The thing is, like, I met her in Denver,” Jedrzejczyk said. “We shake hands, we spoke to each other. And two days after, I heard that she was like, ‘oh, I want to beat Joanna.’ Shut up. You had your chance to beat Karolina and Carla Esparza before, and some others, but you just lost. Come on. Work hard, get your ass to the gym, put on better fights, and you’re going to get this title shot.
“But be honest. If you don’t like me, don’t shake my hand and don’t talk to me. Don’t talk behind my back. I’m kind of a straight person and this is what makes me mad. I’m good with that, but I think Michelle Waterson will [beat] Rose.”