UFC strawweight icon Rose Namajunas has opened up on the retirement of Joanna Jedrzejczyk from the sport, saying that she holds massive gratitude towards her former rival.
The two fight saga between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk had been one of the fiercest as well as the most pivotal rivalries in mixed martial arts. The pair met each other for the first time at UFC 217 when Namajunas dethroned Jedrzejczyk to becoming the new Strawweight champion and later defended her title in the rematch at UFC 223.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk, a future Hall of Famer, announced the end of her mixed martial arts career after her second consecutive loss to Weili Zhang at UFC 275 last month, which marked her fifth defeat in her last seven fights.
I’m very happy for Joanna: Rose Namajunas
On seeing her former grudge rival calling it a career, ‘Thug Rose’ revealed to MMA Fighting the gratitude she holds for the 35-year-old, stating that Jedrzejczyk had set the standard which she pursued for.
“I’ve always been grateful for everything she’s done for the sport, for my career as far as elevating me, and pushing me, as she was the standard for what I’ve been chasing for many years. There’s definitely lots of gratitude toward her,” said Namajunas, “Obviously, we’ve had our rivalry, and there’s been times where all I wanted to do was punch her in the face, and now to see everything come full circle, I’m very happy for her. I want only the best for her, and for her to just be happy in life. I hope that she knows that her career was amazing and that it inspired many people.”
“I felt like she had already accomplished so much. She could’ve even called it before that but I know she’s such a warrior that she just loves fighting. Whatever makes her happy, I’m happy to see that,” she added.
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