This past weekend (Sat. November 4, 2017) saw one of the best cards in mixed martial arts (MMA) this year, and it also provided one of the biggest upsets.
Heading into the fight UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk was undefeated in her fighting career and had downed the best the division has to offer. Rose Namajunas seemed to be the last worthy challenger to go after the 115-pound strap, but nobody was giving the 25-year-old a chance at pulling off the win.
She certainly proved those doubters wrong when she made quick work of Jedrzejczyk by knocking her out in the first round, forcing the Polish knockout artist to submit to strikes. It was truly one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Namajunas was a guest on MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani's show The MMA Hour to discuss her win, and claimed that not only did she beat Jedrzejczyk on fight night, but she also beat her in the mental warfare department (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“This was a fight of mental warfare,” Namajunas said. “I beat her at her own game. I think each time that I wasn’t giving her nothing, she needs that. She needs somebody to fire back.
"I just wasn't gonna do it and I just stuck with it. It definitely took a lot of restraint on my end, it took a lot of control.
"It took a lot out of me to do it. But I knew that’s what I had to do. I knew that’s the way to beat her is to shut her mental game down.
“I felt kind of a sadness at that moment,” Namajunas said of the weigh-in staredown. “Like dang, like she’s really trying hard. I almost feel bad for her in a way. I don’t know, it’s weird. Kind of hard to explain.
“I had so many good ‘I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I’ retorts, your mama,” Namajunas said with a laugh. “All kinds. At the same time, when I really think about it, that would have made her not look so bad.
“It felt like good prevailed for once,” Namajunas said. “I feel like we’ve been in kind of a dark time these past few years and there’s always gonna be good and bad.
"We need the villain sometimes. It makes for an interesting story. I think people can relate. They love the Rocky story, they love the underdog. That’s what happened.”
What are your thoughts on Namajunas claiming she beat "Joanna Champion" in mental warfare? And how do you feel about "Thug" downing Jedrzejczyk inside the Octagon to win the strawweight title? Do you think that she'll be just as successful in a rematch against the former Polish champ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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