UFC star Joanna Jedrzejczyk's emotional denial of tapping to strikes is pretty sad
Joanna Jedrzejczyk's reaction to losing the strawweight title at UFC 217 was as perfect they come.
If Joanna Jedrzejczyk had successfully defended her title against Rose Namajunas in New York, she would have had a huge claim to be the P4P best female fighter the promotion has ever seen. A win would have improved her professional record to 15-0 and seen her equal Ronda Rousey defence record of six.
Unfortunately for the Polish powerhouse, 'Thug' rose to the occasion and absolutely annihilated her in the first round. Namajunas sent the seemingly unbeatable star to the mat twice and made her tap out from the onslaught on her second trip to the canvas.
After Namajunas landed a fifth consecutive left hand to the turtled up Jedrzejczyk's dome, she noticed her downed opponent's fingers tap the floor. At that moment, she stopped unloading and looked to the referee who put the defeated fighter out of her misery.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) November 5, 2017
Unlike Rousey, Jedrzejczyk didn't hide in the shadows after falling off the mountain. She showed up to the post-fight press conference with a bruised face and a battered ego and answered every question that was asked of her. She praised Rose on her performance, didn't make any excuses for her own showing and vowed to come back stronger.
Despite the admission that she had not watched the fight in its entirety on Monday's MMA Hour, Jedrzejczyk was certain about one thing - not tapping for the finish.
"Someone said that I tapped, I never tapped. Are you kidding me? It was probably that I was trying to stand up, but I didn’t. It was a piece of a second for me.”
“Who said that? Who said that? I didn’t tap. I didn’t tap. I heard this, like two times, but come on. I didn’t tap. I didn’t tap. It was probably I was trying to stand up.”
The defensiveness of the denial was a little upsetting, especially when you consider other elite fighters who have tapped from strikes in the past.
Georges St-Pierre, arguably the greatest fighter to ever grace an Octagon, famously tapped out when Matt Serra overwhelmed him with strikes in that upset knockout at UFC 69. After the fact, GSP didn't try to hide the fact that he submitted, in fact, he owned it.
"A lot of people blame me because they said I tap, but the thing is, when you get caught in a submission and you know you get caught in armbar, I prefer to tap and come back stronger next time than not tapping and getting my arm broke and not having my arm 100%."
"It's the same thing. I knew I was finished. I lost my equlibrium, I was going to get knocked out, I didn't want to lose conscious and have cerebral damage for the rest of my career, so I just said, 'I'll go for another time.'"
There is absolutely no shame in tapping to striking. We sincerely hope that the former champ understands this.