Former UFC fighter Liana Jojua says she was shocked by the hate directed her way after being dropped by the promotion
Georgian fighter Liana Jojua says she has been told to ‘sell her body’ as the MMA star opened up on the barrage of abuse she received after being released by the UFC.
Jojua, 26, was cut by MMA’s premier promotion after suffering a disappointing unanimous decision defeat to American veteran Cortney Casey in Las Vegas in November.
Fans row over Jojua’s UFC future as sorry starlet suffers defeat after weight fiasco (VIDEO)
That saw Jojua slip to a third defeat in four fights in the UFC Octagon, with her sole victory in the promotion coming via a first-round submission of Romania’s Diana Belbita in Abu Dhabi back in July 2020.
The Tbilisi-born fighter, who has trained with the ‘Akhmat’ team in Russia, admitted that her departure from the UFC was major psychological blow – compounded by some of the hate which flooded her social media accounts.
“It’s gloating and insults. I don’t understand how you can offend a person you don’t even know,” Jojua told Sport24 in a revealing interview.
“Especially when they insult you on the basis of your appearance… They look at my nose say: ‘You broke it, ha-ha-ha.’
“Are you 10-year-old children or what? How can you write that at all?
“They write personal insults, even though I’ve never published anything about my private life.
“Nobody knows anything about my family and friends, but they still try to personally pry, and it’s a shock.”
The Georgian ‘She Wolf’ boasts a following of more than 600,000 on Instagram, and some fans had expressed their sadness over her exit from the UFC.
‘Took my heart & my money’: Fans upset after Georgian ‘She Wolf’ dropped by UFC
But Jojua – who made history as the first-ever women’s MMA champion in Russia by winning the inaugural Fight Nights bantamweight title in 2018 – says the assumption among some is that she should now pursue an OnlyFans-style subscription service with ‘intimate’ photos to supplement her income.
“Men write, ‘Go and create a page with intimate photos,’” Jojua said.
“I think, ‘Where? I’m generous, you already see my photos – for free on all social networks.’
“After my contract with the UFC ended, everyone thought they could write to me: ‘Come on, go continue your career in this area.’
“In fact, for me that means: you don’t know how to do anything else – go and sell your body.
“I also understand they would never write to a male fighter: ‘Go and create an account like that.’
“For a man, a page like that wouldn’t be relevant.”
Jojua said she had no excuses for her defeat to Casey, in a fight where many felt she should have utilized her ground game better against an opponent notoriously vulnerable in that area.
“I really blame myself for losing,” Jojua said.
“Not because there were some good reasons, but because I was very stupid. Because of this, maybe it was so psychologically difficult.
“When you can somehow justify your defeat, it becomes easier, but I couldn’t justify myself. I think it was completely my fault.”
The Georgian brawler did say that she had broken her nose during the contest – something which seemed evident by the steady stream of blood on display.
“It even seems to me I had two fractures in the fight,” said Jojua.
“At the beginning my nose was bleeding – I’m not sure if it was a fracture. But there was also a second episode: she fell, I ran to finish her off and caught a kick right in the face –at that moment I felt that it was a fracture…
“After the fight, when I was checked by a doctor, they confirmed to me that my nose was broken. But it happens practically every time, so it’s nothing surprising.”
Jojua confirmed that she is mulling her options, including moves to rival promotions such as Bellator or the PFL, should she receive offers – but would not rush into a decision.
The former Fight Nights champion also didn’t rule out trying to work her way back into the UFC ranks by going on a strong run to put a more positive shine on her current 8-5 career record.