Marina Rodriguez wowed in the main event of UFC Vegas 39 this Saturday, putting on a striking clinic to best fellow Brazilian Mackenzie Dern. The win improved Rodriguez’s UFC mark to 6-1-2 and will see her leap up the UFC’s strawweight rankings.
At this time Rodriguez holds the 6th spot in the rankings, behind Dern, Yan Xiaonan, Carla Esparza, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili.
Zhang is due to face champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 268 on November 6th. When discussing the rankings at her post-fight press conference, Rodriguez argued that there’s one fighter above her in the rankings that doesn’t deserve to be there.
Rodriguez singled out former strawweight champion Jedrzejczyk for criticism, accusing the Polish fighter of ducking her and saying she should be removed from the UFC’s list of top 15 strawweights because of inactivity.
“Joanna already said that she doesn’t want to fight me, and let’s be honest, she shouldn’t even be ranked anymore at this point because she’s been out of action for so long,” said Rodriguez (ht bjpenn). “I guess if she doesn’t want to fight me then I don’t want to fight her too. The problem is that she is holding a very important spot in the rankings and there are many girls trying to fight two or three times a year to get there, and that spot is locked.”
Jedrzejczyk’s last fight was in March 2020 against Zhang for the strawweight title. The bout went the entire five rounds with Zhang defending her belt. The thrilling contest ended up scooping the UFC’s Fight of the Year award.
Rodriguez has fought three times in 2021 with wins over Dern, Michelle Waterson and Amanda Ribas.
Those three wins came after a loss to Carla Esparza in 2019. That was the only loss Rodriguez has ever suffered in her 18-fight career. Prior to that Rodriguez fought to draws against Cynthia Calvillo and Randa Markos and scored wins over Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres.