Joanna Jedrzejczyk is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC. She is the former strawweight champion, and the best at mental warfare in the strawweight division. It’s no secret that when Joanna was the queen of the 115 pound division she was a fan favorite. Are fans starting to turn on Joanna? If so why are they turning on Joanna?
UFC 217: This is where the decline started. Joanna was a massive favorite in her first matchup against now champion Rose Namajunas. Joanna came into the fight very confident; some might say she was over confident. She was over the top with her trash talk, and Rose Namajunas stayed cool, calm, and collected. In the fight Rose knocked Joanna out and became the UFC strawweight champion. Joanna looked like she was going to handle defeat gracefully, but in weeks to come we saw this wasn’t the case.
Excuses: Fans will always appreciate you if you accept defeat. Just admit you have holes in your game or admit it just wasn’t your night. A couple of weeks after UFC 217 Joanna came out and said how she lost because of a bad weight cut. I’m not saying that the weight cut didn’t affect her performance, but there are other factors involved. When you have weight cutting issues and your body is dehydrated it’s going to affect your performance. Your ability to take a punch is diminished. This could have been one of the main factors in her fight at UFC 217. The problem a lot of fans have is she didn’t once give credit to Namajunas for defeating her. According to Joanna the reason she lost was entirely because of the weight cut and she was still “Champion” in her eyes.
The highly anticipated rematch happened at UFC 223. Joanna didn’t talk as much trash in the lead up to this fight. The fight was phenomenal and Joanna looked 100 times better than she did at UFC 217. Unfortunately for Joanna, Rose looked 200 times better. Joanna did out strike Rose in this fight, but Rose’s punches were doing more damage. Rose secured the victory when she got a takedown towards the end of round 5. Rose won a unanimous decision and people thought Joanna would be gracious and accept defeat after this fight. NOT AT ALL! Joanna looked stunned after the decision and said she clearly won the fight. She claimed UFC president Dana White said he was disgusted by the decision, but he didn’t saw anything along those lines. Anyone who’s familiar with Dana White knows that he would’ve reacted a lot different if he were disgusted by the decision.
Comparison to Ronda Rousey?: Some people are saying the way Joanna handles losses resembles the way Ronda Rousey handled losses. This is not the case. When Ronda lost to Holly she was mentally broken and went away from the UFC. Joanna wasn’t mentally broken and she wanted a rematch right away. Ronda didn’t make any excuses she just didn’t comment on the loss, which made fans turn away from her. Joanna has made multiple excuses and that’s what’s turning fans away from her. If Joanna gave Rose credit and admitted she has some holes in her game fans would respect her more. Unfortunately the way she has conducted herself after these two loses has made fans roll their eyes and jump off the Jedrezejczyk bandwagon. This isn’t a knock on Joanna’s ability inside the octagon; she’s an outstanding striker and was a dominant champion. This is a knock on her character after she faced defeat. Fans love a dominant fighter who can talk trash and put on entertaining fights; but fans don’t respect a sore loser. Hopefully Joanna reinvents herself and becomes humble not only in victory but also in defeat.
Stephen Caloggero (@steveo_calo)