Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s quest to regain the UFC strawweight title she lost to Rose Namajunas proved unsuccessful on Saturday night, as Namajunas won a unanimous decision (49-46 across the board) in the UFC 223 co-main event. Unlike the first fight, which saw Namajunas win the belt with a shocking first-round KO, the rematch was a back-and-forth affair that was closer than the scorecards may suggest.
For Jedrzejczyk, she didn’t expect to hear Rose announced as the winner when she heard the scorecards.
”When I heard Bruce Buffer saying the numbers of how the judges scored the card, I expected that I was going to win by split decision,” Jedrzejczyk said at the post-fight press conference (via MMA Mania). “But when I heard the difference I was like ‘Okay, we’ve got this win, easy.’ Even say my coaches. So it was a really big surprise and the numbers don’t lie: 142 to 84, and landed 132 from me, 83 from Rose. That’s the answer. That’s the answer.”
As she referenced at the end of that sentence, Jedrzejczyk did statistically outland Namajunas in terms of significant strike, although it was 145-105 for Joanna and not the numbers she gave out. In fact, she had the edge in all five rounds, but of course landing more strikes than your opponent is useless without context, and not a guarantee that you’ll come away with the decision. What tilted the totals in Joanna’s favor were her leg kicks, as she landed 54 to Rose’s 5. In terms of head strikes, Rose had the advantage 85-64, but Jedrzejczyk had more body strikes, leg strikes, and literally all of the clinch strikes.
Despite the disappointing outcome, Jedrzejczyk indicated she isn’t crying robbery and that she was happy with her performance on Saturday night.
”We thought the second round was super close, but more kicks from me,” she said. “And I felt great, you could see that she gassed out in the third round and I was more than ready to go with every round, I could fight 10 more rounds. At the end of every break I was on my feet ready to go … I felt like I was winning the fight. And I’m not complaining that I lost or not. I’m really different fighter, I’ve done so much for myself and the sport. I feel great.”
While the judges had it 49-46, none of them reached their respective scorecards the same way. Glenn Trowbridge only gave Jedrzejczyk round 2, Dave Tirelli awarded Joanna round 4, and Chris Lee saw round 3 in the former champ’s favor. All three judges unanimously saw Namajunas taking rounds 1 and 5.
— Mike Fridley (@mikefridley) April 8, 2018
There has been talk of Jedrzejczyk eventually moving up to flyweight. As far as her immediate future at strawweight, the 30-year-old said, “I feel great in the 115 division … but we’ll see. We’ll see where we go after the vacation and after we talk to Dana and the matchmakers.”
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