The past year has been a really hard one for the former UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejcyk, the losses she suffered from Rose Namajunas have no doubt been a the toughest pill to swallow, especially when getting asked about questions about those defeats in press conferences.
Technically she’s recovered from the defeats of “Thug Rose” competition-wise, but the question is, has she recovered from it mentally?
Most recently at the UFC Calgary post-fight press conference, Jedrzejczyk was once again posed with the question about Namajunas and a possibly trilogy, Joanna boldly responded Rose’s legacy “isn’t that big” an that she should still “bow down” while confidently proclaiming herself still “the queen”.
At the same time, Joanna did admit Namajunas defeating her and acknowledged her as champion, while still perceiving the current strawweight champion’s victories as flukey.
In the midst of these brash comments by Jedrzejczyk , Namajunas has remained silent, but that didn’t stop her fiancee and coach, and the ever vocal, Pat Barry from speaking out on his mate’s behalf.
Barry has long respected Joanna as a fighter, but believes her being unable to accept defeat to both Namajunas in MMA and fellow strawweight contender Valentina Shevschenko in a kickboxing match, will only hinder her ability to grow as a fighter.
“I think that Joanna is f*cking herself over by not accepting defeat,” Barry told MMA Fighting at Thursday’s UFC 227 media day. “That’s why she lost to Valentina three times. Lost the first time, she got robbed. Lost the second time, she got robbed. Lost the third time. Knockout to Rose, wasn’t her fault. Lost a decision, wasn’t her fault. She wants to fight Rose again. She’s not going to be able to. It’s still going to be Rose.”
Pat Barry can definitely relate to someone like Jedrzejczyk, as he himself has endured the tough reality of losing in MMA and Kickboxing, but knows first hand there is a lesson you can definitely learn in defeat by fixing what you did wrong, as opposed never having to correct your mistakes.
But with Jedrzejczyk, Barry sees a fighter as that is gotten too content with her fighting style and herself, thus the reason why she fell by the waist side.
“You can grow from losing,” said Barry, who will corner JJ Aldrich for her main-card fight with Polyana Viana on Saturday night. “If you’re not going to grow from that, how are you going to get better? It’s not her fault that anything ever want wrong in her life. It’s everyone else’s fault but hers.
“Honestly, as good as Joanna is — she’s a f*cking fantastic athlete, she’s a dominant athlete, one of the best female fighters to ever live, ever — if she accepted the responsibility for it, how much better would she get? How much better would she be if she accepted it, worked on making some changes? How much better would she be? But she’s been so dominant for so long, I don’t think she’s going to make any changes.”
Barry then compared Joanna’s two year reign as Strawweight Champion to another woman who herself was on top of the world in Women’s MMA and deemed unstoppable and unbeatable in her multi year reign as champion before she suffered the same fate as Jedrzejczyk with two straight losses who is now a UFC Hall of Famer and WWE Superstar, Ronda Rousey.
Barry also mentioned another once dominant MMA legend many experts revered unbeatable, Fedor Emelianenko.
“If you think about it, when Joanna came out and fought Carla [Esparza] and beat Carla, that’s the same Joanna that fought Rose. She hasn’t advanced. She’s the same fighter. She hasn’t gotten better. Only thing is she’s gotten in better shape. She’s like Fedor. Fedor came out and killed everybody and no one could handle him for years and years and then eventually everyone caught up and figured him out, because Fedor didn’t get any better. He stayed exactly where he was, and eventually everyone figured him out. Joanna hasn’t gotten better, she’s gotten more in shape. That’s it.”
Despite Joanna’s major victory over Tecia Torres this past Saturday at UFC Calgary, Barry still doesn’t believe the win to be convincing enough to warrant her as the next lady to receive another shot at Rose Namajunas’s championship.
“No, we know Rose is a better fighter,” Barry said. “She beat her twice. There’s no discussion. There’s no discussion. If Joanna is the better fighter, she’d be the champ right now. But she’s not. Rose is. She knocked her out, and then she beat her ass for five rounds.
“Rose wants to fight whoever’s the best. If Joanna is the second best or the next best whoever it is, Rose wants to fight the best. Whoever’s out there. But is she entertaining the idea of fighting Joanna again? Sure, if that’s what comes around. Been there, done that.”