BROOKLYN, NY - Joanna Jedrzejczyk held nothing back during the build up to her title fight against Rose Namajunas at UFC 217.
“I think you can’t be champion because you can’t deal with the media or the pressure,” Jedrzjeczyk told Namajunas last November.
“Thug Rose,” of course, upset Jedrzejczyk to become the new strawweight champ.
The two shared the stage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg during the UFC 223 Press Conference and things appear to be different this time around – at least for Jedrzejczyk. She didn’t offer up any trash talk, kept her answers abrupt and appeared laser-focused.
“I changed as a fighter and you’re going to see a second version of Joanna the Champion,” Jedrzejczyk said. “My game has changed.”
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Jedrzejczyk said she was planning so far ahead before her first matchup with Namajunas but now the focus is just on getting her belt back.
“I was the champion for a reason,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Now I want to get back what belongs to me.”
While the former champ presented a new, more humble version of herself, the current champ is the same old Namajunas.
“All I need is to be myself,” Namajunas said before the crowd erupted with applause.
Namajunas infamously remained extremely calm and said next to nothing before their first fight. Some questioned her lack of emotions. But after the fight it was clear – the only thing she was concerned with was what went down inside the Octagon, not outside of it.
“I’ve got some new muscles and I have more knowledge, but my emotions are the same,” Namajunas said.
Those emotions led to her becoming the first fighter to ever defeat Jedrzejczyk. And nothing seems to have changed.