As if we needed to have November 4th’s stacked UFC 217 card sold to us, we’re just a couple of weeks away and the promotional engines are firing on all cylinders. Cody Garbrandt just probably had his best verbal performance of his career and is convincing us all a fight with Demetrious Johnson is next. Meanwhile, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is cutting at Rose Namajunas deep on the UFC 217 conference call, but was it too harsh?
“Hey, listen to yourself, you didn’t want to do media, you didn’t want to do extra media — how are you going to be a champion and deal with all the things? You know what, you are not strong mentally. You are mentally unstable and you are broken already and I will break you in the fight. This country’s been amazing to me. I think that you have some personal problems, and I will show you what’s your problem, OK? You’re never going to be a champion.” — Joanna Jedrzejczyk on today’s UFC 217 conference call.
— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) October 21, 2017
We all know mental warfare is a part of the fight game, but to Rose Namajunas it has been intertwined with her entire life. After Jedrzejczyk’s insults, Namajunas never responded directly to her but explained why this fight means more to her than most. It didn’t deter Joanna from continuing to dig in with the same subject matter, but it did allow Namajunas to shine a spotlight on an issue she clearly feels a great deal about.
“I’m not sure if it’s maybe a cultural difference or something like that, but for me, [mental illness] is not something that’s taken lightly. My family has been torn apart by this. My dad died and he wasn’t in my life because he had schizophrenia, so it’s been something that my entire family has been fighting against since I can remember. So, this fight means a lot to me, and it’s not just about the belt. It’s more than that, and I just want to inspire other people to f-cking do whatever the f-ck you want to do, and do what makes you happy, and be a good person, and you can overcome anything.” — Rose Namajunas on today’s UFC 217 conference call.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/25/2017.