With a slew of wild superfights down the pipeline for 2018, the fights at UFC 223 are still so crazy that they shine through the chaos. Not only is Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting Tony Ferguson in the main event, the co-main will be Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s highly anticipated rematch with Rose Namajunas. The stoic Thug Rose boxed up the dominant champion and shocked the world at UFC 217, now they run it back. This time, Namajunas thinks she’ll get the submission and cement herself as the best strawweight on the planet beating Jedrzejczyk back-to-back like Max Holloway did to Jose Aldo.
“It’s probably the most exciting fight that everybody can look forward to. I think that’s a big part of [Joanna Jedrzejczyk getting the immediate rematch], but also I don’t see anybody else that can really challenge at this point. You’ve got Jessica Andrade and Tecia [Torres] will probably be the only other one, maybe Claudia Gadelha but I thought she was injured. Joanna’s beaten all those girls, other than Tecia obviously, but she’s way far ahead of those other girls. […] I had a perfect gampelan for everything that [Jedrzejczyk] was doing. I knew exactly where she was going to be, where she was, I’ve been studying her for many years and knew exactly what she was going to do before she did it.”
“My boxing is really what set that [knockout] up. Classic boxing. Establish the jab and she’ll get focused on that. As you can see from the video, she was pawing at the jab. She thought it was a jab but it was really a leaping left hook. […] Hopefully she made some changes and she won’t have that [bad weight cutting] excuse this time around and we’ll see the best version of her. We’ll have an awesome women’s MMA fight and I’ll be the best in the world once again. […] My predictions is I’m going to punch her in the face, take her back and choke her out this time.” — Rose Namajunas speaking to Luke Thomas on SiriusXM Rush.
Rematches are always compelling because it’s all about if the opponent who lost can make the necessary adjustments to get back the win. It’s especially interesting when the rare rematch is made after such a quick finish. It’s also a big opportunity for Rose Namajunas to silence anyone who wrote her huge upset win off a some sort of a fluke. Beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice will not only be a first, but prove to any one that still had a doubt that Thug Rose is the real deal. …The build-up should be very interesting.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 2/9/2018.