Heading into her strawweight title defense against Rose Namajunas at UFC 217, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a prohibitive betting favorite, but three minutes after the fight started, “Joanna Champion” was a champion no more. Afterwards, Jedrzejczyk blamed the stunning upset loss on a botched weight cut, having had to cut 16 pounds in 14 hours to make the championship weight of 115 pounds. Jedrzejczyk ended up firing her nutrition team over the incident, but not everyone believes the weight cut is why Jedrzejczyk lost.
Jedrzejczyk’s countrywoman and former opponent, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, recently spoke with MMAnews Live about Jedrzejczyk’s claims, saying that everyone has bad weight cuts, and she thinks the former champion is just making excuses because she lost.
“For me it’s nonsense and justification of herself,” Kowalkiewicz said. “I don’t know, maybe it makes her feel better about it, and she’s able to lift it somehow psychologically. Every fighter cuts weight and it’s not pleasant for anyone. Sometimes it is lighter, sometimes heavier, but overall it is not a nice process. And she puts the blame on her dietary team? Does Joanna have no reason? If Joanna saw that she had too much weight to cut, then . . . I don’t know. I don’t understand. In my opinion, this is just one big fake.”
Jedrzejczyk is now set to rematch Namajunas at UFC 223 in April. Kowalkiewicz was the last woman to defeat Namajunas, taking a split-decision win over her at UFC 201 in 2016. It was this win that put Kowalkiewicz into her title fight with Jedrzejczyk, a bout in which she also dropped Jedrzejczyk but was unable to finish her as Namajunas did. Having faced both fighters, Kowalkiewicz says she is siding with Namajunas in the rematch, though she admits that is mostly based on her personal feelings for Jedrzejczyk.
“My heart is more with Rose,” said Kowalkiewicz. “I just like her more as a person. I always look on who I like, who I know better and that’s why I’m with Rose. Joanna is my compatriot, but privately she is not a nice person. In every interview, when a journalist asks her about me, she goes after me as much as possible and offends me.”
But paradoxically, though Kowalkiewicz wants Namajunas to win for personal reasons, a part of her would prefer Jedrzejczyk win for competitive reasons. Kowalkiewicz is currently the fourth-ranked strawweight in the world and will also be fighting on UFC 223, against eighth-ranked Felice Herrig. A win would put Kowalkiewicz on the short list for the next title shot, and given her choice, Kowalkiewicz says she would rather get the chance to rematch Jedrzejczyk.
“Recently, I talked to a friend about it and if I were to have another chance to fight for a belt with Rose or with Joanna, I would prefer to face Joanna again. My competitive drive will just push me towards this fight. And if I was to face Rose, it would be a bit emotionally hard for me because I really like her.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Anthony Smith, true to his nickname Lionheart, accepted the challenge and forced me to bring out my best, putting on a real war. I want to thank him for the honor of this battle!@ufc @lionheartsmith #ufcbelemnocombate #TeamMarreta #UFCBelém #DaCDDproMundo #TMarreta pic.twitter.com/aIrlyG2XGm— Thiago Marreta (@TMarretaMMA) February 5, 2018
much respect. Thank you @TMarretaMMA and Thank you, Brazil. To my supporters, This one hurts but don’t for a second think I won’t use this as motivation and come back new and improved. Good luck to whoever is next..you’re gonna need it. https://t.co/522MqLUFoz— Anthony Smith (@lionheartsmith) February 5, 2018
The Black Beast.
Can’t blame the guys for trying.
Everyone trying to save the #UFC222 card. Listen that’s cool, and I understand that names sell. But my fight will be fireworks and every single mma fan knows that. We are going to scrap!!! And it will steal the show. Main event material. @ufc— Andre Soukhamthath (@AndreSoukMMA) February 6, 2018
I'm down to scrap at 55! Would be an honour @FrankieEdgar— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) February 6, 2018
Rumble looks like he’s enjoying retirement.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.
What do you think about Jedrzejczyk putting her loss off on a bad weight cut?
This poll is closed
I think it’s true.
I think she’s making an excuse.
I think it’s a little bit of both.
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