As far as Marina Rodriguez is concerned, Joanna Jedrzejczyk shouldn’t even be in the rankings.
Rodriguez went one step closer to women’s strawweight title contention following a unanimous decision victory over Mackenzie Dern in the UFC Vegas 39 headliner last night.
It made it three wins in a row for the Brazilian but when it comes to the rankings, there’s a logjam in front of her. For one, Weili Zhang is challenging for the title against Rose Namajunas in a rematch at UFC 267 later this month.
Carla Esparza — who many felt should be facing Namajunas next — will likely be next in line and having lost to Esparza herself, Rodriguez was hoping that would be the case as well.
“That’s the thing, I really think that Carla was the one that should have been getting the title fight now and not [Zhang Weili],” Rodriguez said at the UFC Vegas 39 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “But if the UFC does offer me a title fight ahead of her, who am I to say no to it?
“But I would much prefer to let her go fight for a title, maybe get that belt and then we can do the rematch for the belt. I don’t have all the time in the world so she’s got to get moving.”
One person Rodriguez could face in the meantime is the former champion in Jedrzejczyk. The only problem is the Polish star has not competed since her defeat to Zhang in March last year.
And if she isn’t competing, she’s just taking up space in the rankings according to Rodriguez.
“Honestly, Joanna’s already said she doesn’t want to fight me,” Rodriguez added. “Let’s be honest, she shouldn’t even be ranked anymore at this point. She’s been out of action for so long and if she doesn’t want to fight me, I guess I don’t want to fight her, too.
“The problem is she’s holding a very important spot in the rankings and there’s so many girls there fighting twice a year, three times a year, trying to get to that and that spot is locked. If it’s not her, [Yan Xioanan] would be a good fight, she’s ahead anyways so that’s how I have to keep moving. Just keep moving forward and if the title fight happens and they want to defend quickly, give it to Carla after that. Maybe I can fight again, cool. If not, just give me someone else and we’ll keep on moving.”
Do you agree with Rodriguez?