While recovering in Southern California from her five-round UFC 193 title defense against Valerie Letourneau last month, as well as a subsequent hand surgery, Joanna Jedrzejczyk touched checked in with FOX Sports this week. Next week, the Polish champ will head to Las Vegas to take in the week’s exciting three events, including Thursday’s — headlined by a strawweight contender’s bout between Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant.
The 115-pound titleholder is keen to watch the two contenders battle it out, in person. "It’s going to be a good match," she told us.
"Both are young fighters. Paige is very talented, and Rose has had some good fights."
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Joanna Champion took care to remind us that, though she’s a late-replacement in the fight, Namajunas is the more accomplished contender of the two. After all, Namajunas fought Carla Esparza for the championship, after tearing through “The Ultimate Fighter” to earn the shot.
Though she would go on to lose to Esparza, who Jedrzejczyk beat to become champ, Namajunas has real title experience. "You can’t forget that Rose fought Carla after TUF, for the championship," she reminded.
"She was close to being a champion."
With that said, almost doesn’t cut it. The cut-throat competitor is just as quick to point that out, as well.
"She was close, but I’m the champion," the 28-year-old continued.
"I have it in the back of my head that one day I’m going to compete with them. I’m ready for everyone, but I don’t know if they are ready for me."
After that shade ferocity, the champion is back to being a diplomatic ambassador. "But, it’s a happy thing for me to watch them," she concluded.
"I’m happy that the division is growing and that they will be in a main event."