The UFC has another budding star on its hands in Joanna Jedrzejczyk (pictured), so who better to show her the ropes than their biggest superstar? The UFC is hoping some of Ronda Rousey’s mojo will rub off on the up-and-comer.
Jedrzejczyk and Rousey were initially paired together at UFC 195, then various injuries forced a reshuffle, but they were ultimately reunited at UFC 193. Don’t think for a second that was sheer coincidence. Jedrzejczyk will open for Rousey Saturday by defending her strawweight belt against Valerie Letourneau and Rousey will close the show by putting her bantamweight title up for grabs against Holly Holm.
Jedrzejczyk has essentially served as Rousey’s shadow for the past couple of months. When Rousey was sent through ESPN’s infamous “car wash” in October to promote UFC 193 on multiple platforms, guess who was glued to her side?
Yup, it was Jedrzejczyk who sat awkwardly at the First Take table while watching Rousey shine in the spotlight. She was also tagging along on SportsCenter listening to Rousey serve up one charismatic line after another, while nearly everyone at home wondered who the other girl was that was sitting next to Rousey.
But the UFC didn’t mind that Jedrzejczyk got overshadowed by Rousey, practically everyone on their roster does anyway. However, the exposure that Jedrzejczyk got by riding Rousey’s coattails was priceless. If Rousey vouches for her, then she has to be legit.
Jedrzejczyk doesn’t have Rousey’s cover girl looks, or her Hollywood acting skills, and nobody can pronounce her last name so it will never have the same ring to it as RONDA ROUSEY, but she’s nearly as nasty inside the cage, and at the end of the day that’s all the UFC cares about. They just need more eyeballs on Jedrzejczyk so she gets the attention her skills deserve.
The UFC has done its part in providing Jedrzejczyk with unprecedented exposure, so now it’s up to her to leave her mark in the spotlight. A devastating finish over Letourneau to get the stadium pumped for Rousey will go a long way in teaching the world how to pronounce her name.