Rose Namajunas Wants Shot At Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Strawweight Gold

Rose Namajunas Wants Shot At Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Strawweight Gold
Photo: © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
By Shawn Smith

After an incredible submission victory over Michelle Waterson in April, the mixed martial arts world was calling for Rose Namajunas to finally receive her elusive world title opportunity against UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

According to coach Trevor Wittman, that's exactly what they've got in mind as well.

"At this stage in her career, given also how the UFC works, I don't think it's something we turn down or say 'No' to," Wittman told on Tuesday. "I don't think it's an experience we want to pass on. I think she's ready. If she goes out there with the right mindset, I believe she can win that fight."

While Namajunas has struggled at times to string together victories throughout her career, she has won four of her last five bouts with the loss being a split decision defeat at the hands of Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Wittman said that he believes in Namajunas' defensive capabilities and footwork as two skills she would be able to use against Jędrzejczyk.

"I would worry if we were not defensively in good shape, but Rose is a very good positional fighter," Wittman said. "She fights on the outside and doesn't take damage. When she forces things, and puts herself off balance, that's when she gets caught with shots. I don't worry so much about Joanna's offence or how she consistently beats people up, though. I don't think she'd be able to hit Rose as easily as she hits everybody else. And Rose would really confuse her with her footwork."

The timing for a bout against Jędrzejczyk matches up rather well, with Jędrzejczyk coming off a May 2017 victory over Jessica Andrade. In November, Jędrzejczyk made easy work of Kowalkiewicz.

With much of the division's top 10 having already had their opportunity, the door appears open for Namajunas to finally receive her chance at a world title.

"Rose is 100% focusing on this fight and that's where my confidence comes from," Wittman said. "When she has something to look forward to and get her competitive, it brings the best out of her. She needs those get-up fights. I think given where Joanna is right now, and how everybody looks at her, it's a no-lose situation in Rose's mind. She wants to challenge herself and take that gold away from Joanna."

No fight has been announced yet, but a bout between the two strawweights could be announced in the coming months.
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