- UFC 223 takes place in Brooklyn, NY, on Saturday, April 7 (9:00 PM ET)
- Will Joanna Jedrzejczyk get revenge and her title back?
- Is the champ, Rose Namajunas, worth betting on as an underdog?
|FIGHTER||ODDS TO WIN AT UFC 223|
|ROSE NAMAJUNAS (C)||+121|
On April 7th, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1) will look to enact revenge against Rose Namajunas (7-3) in the co-main event of UFC 223.
The last time these two warriors met, back in November at UFC 217, “Thug Rose” shocked the MMA world, ending Jedrzejczyk’s dominance with a flurry of punches and becoming the new UFC strawweight champion.
The loss was the first of Jedrzejczyk’s professional career, and it appeared she didn’t have an answer for Namajunas’ striking in the first three minutes of the first round. The former champ also didn’t have an answer for how to lose the necessary weight in a healthy fashion and was forced to cut 15 pounds in 14 hours. Jedrzejczyk believed that the extreme weight cut affected her performance, so much so that she fired her nutritional team (inaptly named “Perfecting Athletes”).
Was Rose’s win a fluke? Was she simply the benefactor of Jedrzejczyk’s poor preparation? Or is this a classic case of styles make fights?
It’s rare to see the champion as a sizeable underdog, especially in a rematch of a fight she already won. Yet, at the same time, the current moneyline is understandable and it’s reasonable to view Jedrzejczyk as the favorite: she has proven to be dominant on big cards and deserves the benefit of the doubt in her last loss.
The former champ has won 64-percent of her fights by decision, but don’t be fooled; Jedrzejczyk knows how to use her kickboxing background to punish her opponents through every single one of those rounds. The 30-year-old averages 6.76 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 49.8-percent. She can hit you from all angles and utilizes her knees and legs better than most. She is a highly efficient striker who normally has the advantage in the standup department.
[Jedrzejczyk] does not want to roll around with Namajunas on the ground, and she will have to find a better way to create distance and work her deadly stand-up.
Normally, Rose Namajunas uses the mat to her advantage as 75-percent of her fights have ended by submission. She averages 2.9 takedowns with an accuracy of 60-percent, but at UFC 217, takedowns weren’t needed. She was able to put the pressure on by being the aggressor and using her jab to set up the nasty left hand that sent Jedrzejczyk to the canvas in a hurry.
At UFC 223, Jedrzejczyk will have nowhere to hide. She definitely does not want to roll around with Namajunas on the ground, and she will have to find a better way to create distance and work her deadly stand-up. (See clip below.)
If the Polish-born fighter can do a better job of avoiding Namajunas’ fast hands, she might be able to settle in and do what she does best: use her killer technique to land some counter shots while also wrapping Namajunas in the clinch to land some powerful knees to the body.
But the way Namajunas looked in their first go-around, and knowing how good she is on the ground, the champ has more ways to win this fight. “Thug” was able to control the pace of the first fight and dropped Jedrzejczyk multiple times before finally ending it. Even if you think Jedrzejczyk can win in the rematch, there is value betting on Namajunas now at +121.