Joanna Jedrzejczyk always tries to get into her opponent's head. The UFC strawweight champion took it took a different level Wednesday during a media call for her upcoming fight against Rose Namajunas.
"You know what?" Jedrzejczyk said to Namajunas during the call. "You're not strong mentally. You are mentally unstable, and you are broken already, and I will break you in the fight."
Not too bad until you remember Namajunas' history—as Jedrzejczyk clearly does.
As many fans know, Namajunas was the victim of sexual abuse earlier in life, and her late father was a schizophrenic who eventually had to leave the family. She has frequently positioned herself as a potential source of guidance or inspiration to fans who may need help. Jedrzejczyk now appears to be throwing that openness, and that personal past, back in her face as a pre-fight psyops tactic.
When Namajunas talked on the call about her own rise to success potentially being "a great PSA for mental health awareness," the champion saw an opportunity to renew her attack on the challenger.
"I think you have some personal problems," Jedrzejczyk said. "And I will show you what your problem is. You're never going to be a champion."
Namajunas did not allow herself to become emotional in response to the barbs but calmly responded to the champion's insults.
"I'm not sure if it's maybe a cultural difference or something like that, but for me it's not something that's taken lightly," Namajunas said. "My family has been torn apart. My dad died, and he wasn't in my life because he had schizophrenia. It's been something my entire family has been fighting as long as I can remember. So, this fight means a lot to me, and it's not just about the belt."
Jedrzejczyk and Namajunas fight November 4 at UFC 217.