Joanna Jedrzejczyk Wants Next Title Shot: I Don’t Have To Prove Anything
Joanna Jedrzejczyk won’t settle for anything less than the winner of the upcoming strawweight title fight between Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas, set to go down in the UFC 261 co-main event this weekend.
Jedrzejczyk has been taking time off from fighting to take care of different business projects in her native Poland. The 33 year old is currently part of a reality TV show as a judge, all while working on her autobiography, and a documentary that will detail her rise from her hometown of Olsztyn to the pinnacle of MMA.
The ‘Crazy Rat Race’
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Jedrzejczyk said that although she wants to return to the Octagon soon, she doesn’t want to engage in the ‘rat race’ with the other contenders in the division.
“I’m living my best life,” Jedrzejczyk said. “With my personal or business problems, we all have it and I’m very happy. I take everything that’s happening in my life and I give a lot. I give 100 percent every single day in everything I do but I did as much as I can. I’m still an athlete because I really want to do it but I set my priorities. I have different priorities. I don’t want to be part of this crazy rat race because I was there.
“I was the champ for a long time. It’s been a while. I lost the title to Rose Namajunas but I know my value. I gave the fight of the year, the fight of the decade and I know I’m still very good. I don’t waste my time. I keep on training all the time. I can’t wait to get back to American Top Team. I’m doing a big TV deal in Poland but can’t wait to get back to the states and start training with my team again.”
The Next Title Shot
The former strawweight champion has lost four out of her last six fights, all of which came in title fights. Despite the losses, Jedrzejczyk still believes that she’s the rightful person to fight for the belt next.
“I called Mick [Maynard] a few days ago and I just told him ‘you know what the baddest bitch on the planet is back’ so book the fight, watch this fight and tell everybody that I’m next,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I was waiting for this fight. It’s COVID time, so that’s the only reason why the belt was not stripped. Because once a year you have to defend the belt. But we’re having COVID times but when I was the champ, I was defending this belt like crazy.”
Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas
Jedrzejczyk has faced both Namajunas and Zhang. She lost her title to ‘Thug’ Rose after getting finished in the first round at UFC 217, before losing the rematch via unanimous decision at UFC 223. The 33 year old also came up short against ‘Magnum’ in their five round war last March at UFC 248.
Giving her thoughts on this weekend’s title fight, Jedrzejczyk said that while Namajunas could outscore Zhang, she needs to be careful of the champion’s power.
“I really believe that Rose Namajunas can outscore Zhang Weili but she has to be careful because Weili is powerful,” Jedrzejczyk explained. “But you know what, all the videos she’s posting and posting before my fight, these punches aren’t that hard. People will go crazy ‘How is that possible, your head was so big, it was so [swollen].’
“Of course it was [swollen] but something happened in my head and the blood was coming out but inside my skin, it was a hematoma but I’ve fought with stronger fighters. I didn’t feel that much power of the punches but I know that Rose can outscore Zhang Weili but Weili is a powerful girl. She’s a very powerful girl. For me, it’s 50/50.”
While the Pole isn’t rooting for either woman, she hopes that the fight between Zhang and Namajunas will shoot the strawweight division to greater heights.
“I wish best of luck to both of them and I hope they will bring the strawweight division even higher than I did the last time with Weili Zhang,” Jedrzejczyk said. “But I feel like every time I step into the Octagon, I break another barrier and limits and records. I did that many times with winning the belt, defending the belt and now with putting on such great shows.”
Nothing To Prove
Having put the strawweight division on the MMA map, Jedrzejczyk doesn’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone. In her mind, she deserves the next title shot, and she won’t settle for anything less than that.
“I know there are so many people who are like ‘You lost, you have to prove it again.’ I proved it in my last fight, putting on f***ing hell of a show,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Giving the closest fight ever. That’s the thing. Fight of the year, no gender, no weights. It’s the ticket for the next title fight. That’s the thing. I just don’t want to fight for nothing anymore. That’s the thing. If I fight, I fight for big trophies and I don’t have to prove it to anybody.
“I want to get the winner of this fight. I won’t stop. That’s the thing if I was losing fights by knockout or if I was losing the fights on points and the difference was big but it’s not. I always put on a show and the fights are very close so I want to keep on going.”
Do you think Joanna Jedrzejczyk deserves to fight the winner of Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas, set to take place in the UFC 261 co-main event?