It seems like Joanna Jedrzejczyk doesn’t really care about what ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith thinks of women in combat sports. The way the former UFC strawweight champion sees it, women don’t need Stephen on their side.
Stephen Smith Doesn’t Like Watching Women Fighting
During his recent appearance on the “Black on the Air” podcast, Stephen Smith was asked about women taking on leadership and executive roles in men’s team sports. He started answering by directly stating his support before going off on a tangent about women trying to compete against men. Specifically in MMA and boxing.
He said that where he jumps off the bandwagon is when they try to engage physically. On the podcast, he also shares that he doesn’t even want to see a woman boxing a man. He doesn’t want to see a woman in the UFC fighting a man even though there are some females out there that can surely beat them. When he thinks about pugilistic sports, he is one of the people who doesn’t like seeing women involved in this. Stephen also pointed that he wouldn’t promote legislating laws to prohibit them from doing so, but he doesn’t want to see women punching each other in the face.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk Strikes Back!
The strong reaction to these strong remarks didn’t wait much. Social media and the MMA community have been active. This includes Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who is one half of the consensus 2020 “Fight of the Year” against Zhang Weili at UFC 248. She tweeted that she appreciated Stephen’s transparency, although she wished everyone at ESPN, and throughout the world to see women’s sports in a positive light.
She also made it more than clear that women don’t need Smith’s support. It’s a rather bold statement that puts Joanna in a positive light. It’s understandable why she might not be happy to hear Stephen’s words on the podcast, but her independence and strength she shows on and off the octagon is admirable.