Thursday, August 18, 2022

Joanna Jędrzejczyk Names Her Female MMA Mount Rushmore

Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk has named the four women she’d include on her Mount Rushmore of female MMA.

Jędrzejczyk recently announced her retirement after making her 21st and final appearance in professional mixed martial arts. At UFC 275 in Singapore, the Polish star ran it back with fellow former titleholder Zhang Weili. While their first clash went the full five rounds, Jędrzejczyk was knocked out by a spinning backfist in the second frame last month.

While a potential title shot awaited her with a victory, the legendary strawweight was instead left leaving her gloves on the Octagon floor.

Now, having completed a memorable and illustrious career, Jędrzejczyk is well placed to discuss the all-time greats of female MMA, and assess where she sits among them.

Jędrzejczyk Puts Herself Among 3 Other Legends

In an interview with The Schmo at UFC X during International Fight Week, Jędrzejczyk gave her input when it comes to the Mount Rushmore of women’s MMA.

After naming a pioneer of female fighting, the first two-division champion, and one of the most dominant titleholders in the UFC today, Jędrzejczyk completed her fearsome foursome with some self-appreciation.

“Ronda Rousey, number one; me; and Amanda Nunes, who became the first champion in two different weight classes, so definitely,” Jędrzejczyk said. “And Valentina as well. So, I put Ronda, Amanda, Valentina [Shevchenko], and then me.”

Having won the strawweight title in 2015, Jędrzejczyk defended it a record five times, including against Cláudia Gadelha and Jéssica Andrade. At 115 pounds, the Pole boasts the records for most championship-fight wins and most consecutive victories. She’ll likely be battling for a place on many’s Mount Rushmore against two-time opponent and former two-time champ Rose Namajunas.

Nunes’ accomplishments likely make her a nailed pick for most. As well as becoming the only woman to hold belts in two different weight classes, the “Lioness” went on a seven-year 12-fight unbeaten run between 2014 and 2021, a period that included wins against Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm.

Meanwhile, since her second defeat to Nunes, the only opponent she’s lost to in MMA, Shevchenko has ruled over the flyweights with an iron fist. Since capturing the vacant gold in 2018 against Jędrzejczyk, “Bullet” has defended the title seven times.

Perhaps the pick that will be the most debated among the Pole’s choices is Rousey. While her unblemished 12-0 record and dominant stint on the women’s bantamweight throne left her as the sport’s biggest star in 2015, back-to-back defeats to Holm and Nunes somewhat dimmed her shine.

Nevertheless, Rousey still has a place among the MMA greats and is widely considered a trailblazer for the female side of the sport, something Jędrzejczyk clearly appreciates.

Who would you include on your female MMA Mount Rushmore? Do you agree with Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s selections?

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