Tonight, reigning strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejcyk will defend her championship Rose Namajunas. Because of Joanna’s usual antics, this fight has gradually been more talked about in social media during fight week than perhaps been during the entire buildup. But due to Joanna’s overconfident verbage, an out-of-context remark about Rose’s mental strength, and a fist graze to the face, Joanna has drawn the ire of many across the MMA community. Well, enough is enough with all this criticism.
MMA fans levying this criticism at Joanna need to get off their high horse…preferably before bell time tonight. It’s the fight game. A savage game. Confidence, intimidation, shit-talking, etc. is part of it, always has been, and any ill that comes from it pales to comparison to attempting to beat someone into unconsciousness or break their limb. I’m tired of MMA fans acting as if they live perfectly moral lives that are much less public having said and done things themselves that would offend many more people in a much stronger way. Second, the whole “cocky” criticism towards fighters went out the window with McGregor. Anybody who says this criticism damn well better say the same thing about him. Lastly, Rose and JJ are the same damn size, both are professional fighters, and will be fighting tonight. There are no damn victims here and I have no doubt that Rose would say so herself. This behavior from JJ is nothing new. Why fans are behaving like it is because she is more popular is pure fuckery.
It is next to impossible to remain undefeated in MMA. To this day, Jon Jones (yes, he’s undefeated) and Khabib are the only two to do so up to this point while fighting at the highest level for years, and one half of those two names has failed two drug tests. Point being, Joanna will more than likely lose, whether it’s tonight, next year, or many years from now. If/when this day comes, it will not be a lesson on cockiness. Seeing as how JJ has behaved this way in nearly every fight she’s been in, it merely will be a lesson on MMA odds. Rose is a very dangerous stylistic matchup for her. So if Joanna loses, it has nothing to do with a “Rousey/Holm” feeling or her behavior leading up to this fight.
For future notice, this post is not limited to just to the Joanna Champion criticism heading into tonight’s fight. It’s for any fighter who gets heat for any verbal slip, any naturally human behavior, or any “sportsmanship foul.” It’s for any time a fighter says or does something public that pales in comparison to what the majority of these critics have done or said privately. And yet these fighters are judged, criticized, and sometimes even “hated.” So to all the people criticizing Joanna for her behavior, get off your high horses, look in the mirror, and just enjoy the damn fights.