Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk fell just short of equalling Ronda Rousey’s record for most consecutive title defenses for a female in the organization’s history when she lost the belt at UFC 217 on Saturday night.
Jedrzejcyzk wasn’t in the mood to be compared to the former champion after suffering the first loss of her career to Rose Namajunas at Madison Square Garden.
“Please don’t compare me to Ronda Rousey,” Jedrzejczyk said at the post-fight news conference, cutting off a questioner who had mentioned the name. “I love her so much, and we have very good relationship, but please let’s leave this (expletive) away. I never take fights personal, and I’m not emotional when fighting.”
Rousey was once viewed as an unstoppable force, much like how Jedrzejczyk was starting to appear before Saturday. She entered the fight against Namajunas as more than a minus-700 favorite only to suffer an early knockout loss.
Jedrzejczyk’s post-fight reaction did draw a stark contrast between her and Rousey. When Rousey suffered her first defeat to Holly Holm, she didn’t address the media after the fight and stayed out of the public eye for months before appearing on “Ellen” and admitting to pondering suicide after the defeat.
Jedrzejczyk attended the news conference and answered every question, battling through tears on several occasions.
“Big congrats to Rose,” she said. “I’m happy for her, but I will be back stronger. It was not personal. The things which happen before the fight have nothing to do with this fight. It was a good punch, she cut me off, I really don’t know what happened. It’s the fight, you know? We take this risk.”
Jedrzejczyk said she hopes she built up enough equity in the division to merit an immediate rematch against Namajunas.
Bisping not going away
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping said he will not retire after losing his belt to Georges St. Pierre on Saturday in New York.
“I love doing what I do,” he said after he was put to sleep by St. Pierre. “I’m from a small town in the northwest of England, I never thought I’d be headlining Madison Square Garden. I’ll be damned if the last time I (fight) is me getting choked out on TV.”
Bisping indicated he would be interested in fighting again in England, which would mean a possible spot on the UFC Fight Night 127 card in London.
While the 38-year-old fighter was disappointed with losing the belt he had worked so long to acquire, he didn’t lose his sense of humor.
“It feels like just yesterday I was champion of the world,” he joked. “Listen, I’m happy. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in this sport. I really am, and you can’t take that away from me. My kids are over there and they just said, ‘I thought you’d be more pissed off.’ And listen, of course I’m pissed off. I’m crushed inside. I am. But also, at the same time, I realize what’s important in life. This is what I dedicated my life to, but I do it for my children.
I’m happy with what I’ve done. Yeah, I’m crushed inside, but life goes on. Every time you fight, one man’s going to win and one man’s going to lose. That’s what you sign up for.”
Dillashaw wants superfight
T.J. Dillashaw hoped to drop down to fight Demetrious Johnson for the 125-pound title in August when he learned bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt was out of action with a back injury.
Johnson instead lobbied for a bout against flyweight contender Ray Borg, who had already signed for the fight. Now that Johnson has defeated Borg and Dillashaw won the belt against Garbrandt on Saturday, the fight may finally happen.
UFC president Dana White said he hasn’t spoken to Johnson yet, but believes he should be willing to accept the fight.
“He’s been crying for a long time now for a big fight, he’s got his big fight now,” White said. “I’m down for it because I wanted to do it before, but now it’s even better because both of them have belts.”
Dillashaw said he won’t have a problem dropping down to 125 pounds and is excited about the opportunity to become a two-division champion.
“Demetrious can’t run from this one,” Dillashaw said after winning the belt on Saturday night in New York. “This one’s too big. (Johnson) broke his (title-defense) record. He got to pad himself and break his record. Now, let’s make some money.”
“He’s talking about how he wants those seven-figure fights – well, this is it. Step up, be a man of your word, and let’s get this fight going.”
Johnson broke Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses with the win over Borg in October.
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