Saturday night's Strikeforce was an exceptionally fun card. For me, there's no other way to describe it. In my own little fantasy world, bonuses would fly, and Ronda Rousey and Jacare would end up with submission of the night and knockout of the night bonuses. Fight of the night honors would undoubtedly go to Julie Kedzie and Miesha Tate for their blazing display of heart and durability. The back and forth in that fight was amazing and the pace was absolutely frenetic. In a recent interview, TapouT Radio caught up with Julie to get her thoughts on her performance, and her fervent hopes for a rematch with Miesha Tate.
*Note: Interviewer is either my co-host, Evan Shoman of TapouT Radio, or myself. When I don't conduct these interviews by myself, I just put "Interviewer" to eliminate having to bounce back and forth between three different names.
Interviewer: You put on a fantastic performance and made many people, including Dana White, sit up and take notice of you. What was your overall feeling about the fight?
Julie Kedzie: It was fantastic up until the end [laughs]. There's nothing quite like kicking somebody in the face to make you feel good about yourself. I don't like losing, though. I hate losing. I would like to rematch, all respect to Miesha, at her earliest possible convenience.
I did have a really fun time during that fight. I felt like the Julie Kedzie that performs in the gym finally came out to play on the big stage. It was about time, and I was really happy that people could see what I've been up to in my time off, and what Greg Jackson has done for my game as a fighter.
Interviewer: What was the game plan going in?
Julie Kedzie: Actually, the game plan was to fight her in all areas. He (Greg Jackson) has a lot of confidence in my ability to fight with wrestling, with jiu jitsu and with everything else. Every now and then, somebody comes along and they just get you. It was my mistake after the first round. He told me, 'If you follow her to the ground, you get side control or you get back up', but I completely disregarded his advice.
He wanted me to go for the kill, and obviously I wanted to go for it. He wanted me to do it in a smart way, but I think instinct took over intelligence at that point, in the third round. It was my mistake entirely. My coaches were spot on, and if I'd have listened to them, and stopped being such a dumbass, I would have won the fight.
Interviewer: You had her hurt on a few occasions. What do you think it was that stopped you from finishing her?
Julie Kedzie: Greg has trained me i a way to deal with when you drop somebody, you establish a good position and then you finish them. There was plenty of time for me to deal with her legs. I didn't deal with her legs. I rewatched the fight, and I was pretty mad at myself. I was actually out of the armbar at one point, but I was having a really hard time stacking on my left shoulder, and I think I just messed up. It's whatever. I'd be happy to do it again. I'm gonna be basically drilling armbar defenses until the cows come home. I messed up my shoulder a little bit in the second round, unfortunately, and I should have just ignored the pain and finished with the stack and I ended up interrupting my own progression there. Miesha is a very, very tough woman, and she took some hard shots. I know, because I have the bruise on my shin to show it. She's definitely a great competitor, and I look forward to fighting her again, someday.
Interviewer: With Dana's acknowledgement of you, are you even more motivated to get right back in there as soon as possible?
Julie Kedzie: I'm extremely motivated. I'd love to get back in the cage. Obviously I have to get a doctor's clearance for that first. My elbow is fine from the armbar. It's just a little sprain, but my shoulder, I think I might have torn my rotator cuff, so we're definitely going to get that checked out. I'm very appreciative that Dana took note of me, and I hope that I did credit to my team with my aggression and consistent desire to finish.
People forget that we are combatants and competitors, but we are also a community. The mixed martial arts community is pretty small, because we're still a niche sport. The females within that niche sport are an even smaller community, so as much as people might not like each other, we're all a part of it. One person;s success brings all of us success. One person's good performance will kind of help elevate the rest.
Interviewer: Female fights have seemed to evolve to a point now where the talent and progress the athletes have made can't be ignored. The ladies are starting to really establish themselves with exciting fights, and you certainly demonstrated this Saturday night, despite your loss. Would you consider this fight to be your coming out party?
Julie Kedzie: I agree, and really, I want to finish every fight. I made a huge mistake, a huge error in my technical submission defense, and with what I did when I had her in danger, but I would 100 times over rather make a mistake of aggression because it means that something in me opened up and was ready to compete and ready to go for it, to finish her. There was a finish in the fight. It just didn't go my way [laughs]. I want to go for blood. I want to go for broke. I want to make every fight of my career a fight of note. That's what I intend to do.
You can follow Julie via her Twitter, @JulesK_fighter