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Daniel Cormier: Joanna Jedrzejczyk still strawweight GOAT; Rose Namajunas ‘a ways off’

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Daniel Cormier believes Joanna Jedrzejczyk is still the greatest strawweight of all time.

Jedrzejczyk (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) holds the division’s record for most title defenses at five but was eventually dethroned by Rose Namajunas in a shocking upset knockout in November 2017.

Namajunas (11-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) would go on to beat Jedrzejczyk a second time in an immediate rematch, but despite losing to Namajunas twice, Cormier says the impact Jedrzejczyk had on the rise of the division can’t be forgotten.

“The sport’s young, so we tend to excited,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “We have seen this time and time again from Cain (Velasquez) was greatest heavyweight of all time, to Usman now may pass Georges St-Pierre, and greatest middleweight Izzy (Adesanya) is right behind Anderson (Silva) when in reality it’s not. For as much of a resume as Rose is building as the champ, she’s a ways off.

“Because the greatest champion in this division’s history is Joanna Jędrzejczyk. It doesn’t just point to the matchups because of all the defenses. The way that she truly put that weight class on the map is why we view her the way that we do.”

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After beating Jedrzejczyk again, Namajunas lost her title to Jessica Andrade. However, she went on to avenge her loss to Andrade in a rematch then reclaim her title with a beautiful head-kick knockout of Zhang Weili at UFC 268. She enters her fourth-career rematch in Saturday’s UFC 274 co-main event when she attempts to avenge her 2014 title loss to Carla Esparza.

If Namajunas gets past Esparza, Cormier thinks it won’t just benefit her legacy.

“But does Rose step closer to being considered to be in the conversation as the greatest strawweight we have ever seen? Absolutely,” Cormier said. “I believe that this fight does more for Rose personally than it does for her legacy because you go and get that one back from when you were a kid, from when you got embarrassed after coming off the show, riding that wave of momentum.

“Her true first taste of stardom, of recognition, of visibility, she got really stumped bad by Carla Esparza. So I think personally for Rose and her entire team, this win is for them as opposed to what does it mean to the legacy of Rose Namajunas, because it’s still building. And if she’s going to be considered the greatest fighter in this division’s history, she got a little more work to do.