It has been 19 months since former UFC strawweight queen Joanna Jędrzejczyk last competed. This long layoff is the sole reason why the ex-champ was removed from the rankings earlier this week. One woman who once tried to lure Jędrzejczyk back inside the cage is #3-ranked Marina Rodriguez.
After Rodriguez defeated Mackenzie Dern earlier this month, however, UFC President Dana White seemed to have more interest in pairing her against Jędrzejczyk than she did. That’s because Jędrzejczyk had already snubbed her callouts in the past with the belief that she had bigger fish to fry.
In an interview on The MMA Hour, Jędrzejczyk did not say anything to suggest that anything has changed regarding her lack of interest in fighting Rodriguez. That is because when listing potential options for her comeback fight, the Brazilian’s name was conspicuously omitted.
“So many fights (have been turned down), stupid fights,” Jędrzejczyk shared about her recent dealings with the UFC. “But I’m waiting for Rose and Weili…the winner or I can take even the second place.”
These preferences aren’t being held close to the vest. According to Jędrzejczyk, the UFC brass is well aware of her opponent wish list.
“They know this. Dana know,” Jędrzejczyk said. “And Dana is a real businessman, but I know [UFC matchmaker Mick Mayhard], he has different job, and he has to make his own money. And I bet he makes money out of making fights. So I understand. But we have different agreement with Dana, and Dana always take it up. And I remember what the UFC have told me after the [Zhang Weili fight], that I can take as much time as I can and I will be back to the top and fighting the best. So I’m guessing the champion or the #1 [contender], that’s it.”
Joanna Jędrzejczyk Drops A Third Option For Next Potential Foe
So who was the third name? That would be the person who was the first real victim of “The Boogeywoman,” inaugural strawweight champion Carla Esparza. Not only was she the first UFC fighter to be finished by Jędrzejczyk in what served as the birth of “The Boogeywoman,” but she also involuntarily gave rise to “Joanna Champion.” That is because it was Jędrzejczyk who ended Esparza’s title ran before it could even get off the ground.
Six years later, Jędrzejczyk is inviting Esparza to try to get redemption for her first UFC defeat.
“Come on, Carla, March, April. [LAUGHS]…Yes, why not?” Jędrzejczyk said. “She’s waiting for the title shot, but I think it’s not good for her. If she wants to try the best, I can do it. OK, I can do it.”
Who do you think makes sense as Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s next opponent?