UFC 274: Joanna Jędrzejczyk predicts Rose Namajunas to win in first-round

UFC stars Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas

Joanna Jędrzejczyk has predicted a first-round finish for Rose Namajunas over Carla Esparza at UFC 274

Namajunas and Esparza will battle it out in Arizona this weekend for the strawweight title. 

As the reigning champion, Namajunas is considered the favourite to triumph. Jędrzejczyk told MMA Fighting she was also backing the American.

“I don’t like predictions but I think Rose Namajunas first-round finish,” she said. “You know I see Carla Esparza shooting and Rose defending the takedown and submitting her. 

“But her footwork and her strikes are so crispy and juicy and [Rose] can knock her out [as well].

“I feel like Carla Esparza can’t handle it but she’s the next challenger, the contender for the strawweight belt and she deserves the shot. She’s right there at the top and let’s see what’s going to happen.”

Namajunas and Esparza first fought in 2014, with the latter securing a third-round submission victory to become UFC’s first strawweight champion. 

Her reign was over just three months later, however. Esparza was dealt a knockout blow by Jędrzejczyk, who has now claimed Namajunas is much better than she was eight years ago.

UFC star Joanna Jędrzejczyk

“She’s a different fighter right now,” Jędrzejczyk said. “She has an amazing coach and amazing people around her and she’s training really hard and she’s right there. 

“She’s the champ. She’s the greatest right now. She’s in her prime and that’s nice. That’s good to see.”

Jędrzejczyk, who has lost to Namajunas twice in her career, is set to take on Zhang Weili at UFC 275 in June. 

The Polish star is hopeful a victory against Zhang would set up a third encounter against Namajunas. 

“I believe yes [she would face me again],” Jedrzejczyk said. “Cause Rose, she doesn’t run away from fights. She knows what it means to be the champ.

“Perfect plan to fight in Madison Square Garden in November for the belt with Rose Namajunas would be nice. To get revenge there.”

Find out everything you need to know about UFC 274 here. 

1 of 20
Amanda Nunes

How many UFC champions has Amanda Nunes beaten in her career?

News Now - Sport News