Rose Namajunas has several options for her next fight and all of them happen to be against women she has previously met in the Octagon. There is one woman, however, that believes she should be among the names seriously considered for Namajunas and that is former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Namajunas could complete a trilogy between her and Jedrzejczyk, who lost the previous two meetings. She could meet Weili Zhang again, who she recently defeated at UFC 261 to reclaim the strawweight title. Or, she could meet Carla Esparza again, who made her case for a title shot at UFC Vegas 27: Font vs. Garbrandt after stopping Yan Xiaonan and extending her win streak in the division to five.
Of those options for Namajunas, there are two that Jedrzejczyk believes should come first — either her or Zhang. Speaking recently with “The Schmo”, the former champion explained why she sees herself or Zhang getting a title shot over Esparza.
“This is what she thinks,” said Jedrzejczyk. “She has a few wins straight, but hmm — I think the next challenger should be JJ or Weili Zhang. This is what I agreed to only.”
Jedrzejczyk alluded to her eventual return, but did not give a specific date for when that would be. She has not fought since her ‘Fight of the Year’ awarded outing against Zhang at UFC 248, where she was bested by way of split decision. Her time away from the Octagon allowed for her to recover from her injuries sustained in the Zhang fight, but she has been gearing up for her comeback since the start of the new year.
Jedrzejczyk has been adamant that her fight back should be for the title, but there is a possibility that it does not pan out that way. UFC president Dana White has said that he is unsure of what route the brass wants to take for Namajunas’ next opponent, so it is likely that Jedrzejczyk may have to wait for one more fight to happen while that is figured out. When asked about which one of the rematches with Zhang could happen before then between her or Namajunas, Jedrzejczyk says it all depends on what gets done first.
“Both fights are possible and are very interesting, not only for me, but for the other girls as well — I mean Rose or Weili Zhang, for the UFC and the fans. So, we will see what will happen next.”
She may not have an opponent just yet, but Jedrzejczyk is excited to get back to the cage regardless. She delivered one final remark about her upcoming return, which she is happy to do now that fans are being allowed back into arenas.
“I can’t wait to get back to the Octagon and put on a hell of a performance for you because there is no sport without the fans. One of the points, actually, to get me back to the Octagon was that I wanted my fans to be back in the arenas. And it’s finally happening because I don’t see myself fighting without them. They give me extra energy, extra power and we are together in this business. I’m fighting for the UFC, the fans love the UFC for what they are doing and they love us, so it’s like we are working together.”
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