Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk UFC 223

Posted by BAFC on 09.04.18 18:07  

Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk  II - UFC 223 took place on April 7 2018 in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center in a much anticipated match up. Just months ago it had been Jedrzejczyk who had been dethroned and uprooted as UFC’s straw-weight champion AND spoiled Jedrzejczyk from becoming a six time reigning defending champion. 

While watching the first match up between the two straw-weight contenders, you would be a casual fan to question weather or not Namajunas is championship material.  She was undefeated throughout her amateur career, exhibition and two fight in to her debut as a fighter for InvictaFC (shoutout to Shannon Napp) - a leading platform in  women’s mixed martial arts. 

Rose would go on to lose her next two fights in InvictaFC against Tecia Torres and Carla Esparza before going on a three fight streak ultimately avenging her loss to Torres, while defeating Angela Hill and UFC’s poster child Paige Vanzant. 

Outclassed by her opponent at UFC 201, Namajunas would go on to lose against Karolina Kowalkiewics via split decision. This loss caused Namajunas to fall out of the running for a championship match up early on with Jedrzejczyk. Namajunas would have to fine tune her game if she wanted to be the next contender for the built and she did just that by defeating Michelle Waterson via UFC on Fox where she delivered the most vicious Holly Holm like head kick that sent Waterson stiff as a board but lighter than a feather down to the canvas. 

This notable victory would go on to lay the ground work for Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk to finally meet at UFC 217 - where Namajunas put on an absolute striking clinic, as if it were a walk in the park - Namajunas left no question in anyone’s mind whether she earned the belt. Thug Rose would go on to clinch the championship belt via TKO win in their first match up. 

What is more disturbing in my opinion is that Jedrzejczyk lost fair and square, but was seemingly guaranteed a rematch. I would have liked to see Jedrzejczyk get a tune up fight to help her better understand why she lost that fight and perhaps an opportunity to adjust her attitude. She use to be humble and on her way up towards greatness she loss that humbleness - like Ronda Rousey, but that’s a different story all together. 

UFC 223 was a complete circus act - but that didn’t distract Rose Namajunas from the task at hand. Namajunas would yet again pull off one of the most impressive performances in women’s mixed martial arts - with technical class and evasiveness. Two reasons why women’s mixed martial arts will forever remain ten times more entertaining than watching two numbnuts throwing haymakers and resting on top of each other like a boring porno. 

Round one would just about define the remaining rounds in the championship fight and what I want to do is explain just how Namajunas secured round after round and what separates her from the pack or straw-weight talent.

If it were up to the stats,  Jedrzejczyk clearly won by the numbers and just as the saying goes "never leave it in the judges hands” -Jedrzejczyk should have known that she would need to make it extraordinarily clear that she deserved the win. 

Namajunas isn’t just a standup fighter. She’s also very versed on the ground as well and has won many of fights via submission which range between kimura’s and a variety of armbars. All she needs is an opportunity and her resilience reminds me that of which Paige VanZant possesses. More notable is Namajunas’ standup skill and ability to gauge range against an aggressive opponent. It seemed as though Jedrzejczyk had the hardest time finding a range that she could use to get a leg up on Namajunas. So much so that Jedrzejczyk began to depend heavily on leg kicks as attempt to immobilize Namajunas. A perfectly timed leg kick can deter an incoming barrage of punches, immobilize an opponent as well as create an opportunity for a fighter to set up a sequence of strikes,but what does that mean for Jedrzejczyk in this fight?

It caused an already distant opponent to become that much more aware of the importance of range and focus on retaliation rather than to check or absorb every kick. Jedrzejczyk is already having trouble finding an in - now she has to worry about not getting the shitty end of every exchange. If we ignore the number of strikes landed and focus on the type of punches landed you can clearly see why judges clearly awarded specific rounds to Namajunas. 

When Jedrzejczyk throws any kind of connotation she had speed, but lacked power. She uses her speed to overwhelm her opponents and only uses power when it’s clear to do so- as her recovery from a power strike is seemingly visible. Namajunas on the other-hand has a tendency to throw punches with conviction - that’s leading in to a combination and or in retaliation to a sequence of strike(s). 

There was only one adjustment that Jedrzejczyk made during this entire fight. Well actually two. The first was implementing the leg kicks in the second round and also stepping in with her jab. Outside of that, I failed to notice anything that would allow her team to turn the tables. 

This was a much deserved win for Namajunas. This also opens the door for other women in the straw-weight division. It seems to me, every woman on the straw-weight roster has a chance now - this considering Namajunas has been defeated before. What’s more, is that we will get to see how much these other women have progressed and if Namajunas has really surpassed all the other straw-weights to remain champion. I can see a rematch for Karolina Kowalkiewicz - maybe? 

Now as for Jedrzejczyk? Who knows. I just hope she doesn’t turn in to this broken woman - another defeat could or would probably send her spiraling out of control like Rousey. Could you imagine the self proclaimed Queen of MMA running around causing havoc like the self proclaimed King of MMA, that is Connor McGreggor? Jedrzejczyk may have been well on her way as she began to take on a new bully persona. 

Things that make you say .... hmmmmmm! 


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