‘I Would Be More Than Willing to Fight Her’ – Marina Rodriguez Calls Out Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Published 05/09/2021, 5:59 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: (R-L) Amanda Ribas of Brazil punches Marina Rodriguez of Brazil in a strawweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC Vegas 26 was another one of the exceptional events that the UFC put out in 2021. The main event was an encapsulation of the entire show as the fight between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson went the distance. Rodriguez, who got the win in one of the most important fights of her career, is now looking to make the step up to fight the top five competitors in the strawweight division.

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She was ranked number six in the official UFC rankings ahead of the fight; Waterson was ranked number nine. Rodriguez talked to the media at the post-event press conference.

The fighter said, “I would like to fight a couple more times this year. Hoping a top-three opponent next time around.” She talked about the upcoming fight between Yan Xiaonan (ranked number three) and Carla Esparza (ranked number four).

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Rodriguez recently lost the first fight in her career in a split decision loss to Esparza. However, she mentioned that a fight against Xiaonan would be really interesting for her. She added, “Joanna (Jedrzejczyk) is a fight that I’ve always been looking forward (to) and I think the fans are, too. If she’s back and considering fighting again, I would be more than willing to fight her.”

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Joanna’s last fight was a loss against the former strawweight champion Zhang Weili in an absolute war in March 2020.

Marina Rodriguez explains how she beat Michelle Waterson

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Rodriguez, who never looked phased in the fight, ate Waterson’s kicks comfortably. She used several combinations from time to time and kept her opponent at bay. “One of the big things was trying to control the distance without making it boring,” Rodriguez said.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Marina Rodriguez of Brazil kicks Carla Esparza in their strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020, in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

She added that they had a responsibility to the fans to make the fight entertaining, and they accomplished that. Rodriguez congratulated ‘The Karate Hottie’ for making the fight interesting. She also complimented her ability to hang in there for the full 25 minutes.

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“I came here to get a knockout if there was a chance and she didn’t put the chance out there. I tried to blitz as much as I could, but I couldn’t get the finish. But that’s props to her,” she concluded. (h/t MMAJunkie)

Do you think Marina Rodriguez deserves a shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk?

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Aniket Awasthi

422 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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