Before she takes on Jennifer Maia for the Invicta FC flyweight title next month, we spoke to Agnieszka Niedzwiedz.
Agnieszka Niedzwiedz today stands as the undisputed top contender to the Invicta FC flyweight title. The Polish grappler has an undefeated decorated record of 10-0 which includes names like Vanessa Porto, Christine Stanley, and Samara Santos. She will be facing pound-for-pound stalwart and the world’s best flyweight, Jennifer Maia, for the Invicta FC flyweight title on December 8.
Agnieszka Niedzwiedz’s combat sports journey started at the very young age of seven, when she took up Judo. She continued her path in the sport for almost a decade before taking up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes. After a few classes, she received an offer to compete in an MMA fight.
Since that day “Kuma” amassed a perfect record of 10-0. Despite all of these accolades to her name, Agnieszka Niedzwiedz recognizes that there are much more important things in life than cage fighting.
“Right now my biggest achievement is raising my little boy. MMA is some kind of a fun job to do, kind of a stepping stone away from everyday life and those problems. I have very big aspirations in this sport, so I treat the Invicta FC title shot against Jennifer Maia as a really big chance for me. I can get a championship belt and secure the top spot in the flyweight ranking all at once.”
Motherhood is certainly not an easy task, and when one is an athlete, it becomes even tougher. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz faced these problems and has gained great perspective through the hardships.
“Before the pregnancy, MMA was everything to me. I was like train, eat, sleep, and repeat. I didn’t think too much about my future back then. Now, Alan is my whole life and everything I do I am doing for him, including MMA. When you have a little kid it’s really hard to reconcile motherhood and training. You need to have irreplaceable grandmothers or money for a nanny. Sometimes there are days when your kid doesn’t want to stay with the nanny and it’s a real problem. Only other mothers can understand this because your heart wants to stay with son but you know that you have to go and train hard.”
With the additional load of new being a parent, a step up in competition isn’t really something most would want. The pressure would break many. With Agnieszka Niedzwiedz, the situation is different.
“I did not feel any pressure before the Porto fight. I was training Judo since I was very young so I am used to competing. Judo prepared me mentally for competing in MMA. I never had any worries entering the cage.”
Her upcoming title fight against Maia too does not put extra pressure on her. She respects the ability of Maia but doesn’t allow her mind to overstress, instead, she focuses the energy on training.
“Right now, I am focusing solely on my preparations. Maia is a really good fighter and has experience in fighting five-rounders. She is a complete MMA fighter so I am preparing myself for a real war. As for the pressure, I do not feel any pressure right now. Maybe some positive vibes will come on official weigh-ins where we will meet face-to-face.”
Agnieszka’s upcoming title fight won’t be the sole major flyweight title fight of the month. On the first of December, world’s biggest MMA organization, Ultimate Fighting Championship, will crown its inaugural women’s flyweight champion. The fight will be the finale of the 26th season of the reality TV series The Ultimate Fighter.
Agnieszka is the second-ranked flyweight in the world today but just like her opponent, she did not take part in the show. The Polish powerhouse said, “I had the offer to join The Ultimate Fighter but did not consider it for a second. I want to fight best girls in the world and right now Maia is the best flyweight in the world and the Invicta FC champion so this is the fight to make. Of course, I also have my little boy and I didn’t want to leave him for a few months as he is the most important to me. I think the TUF finale will be (Roxanne) Modafferi vs. (Barb) Honchack. I really like Roxanne to win the whole thing. I like her unconventional style and root for her on the show.”
When asked whether she has set any plans to compete in the UFC post-title shot, Agnieszka said, “I am only thinking about fighting Maia now and becoming Invicta FC champion. I am not thinking about UFC right now as it is not my job to book fights and negotiate contracts. I am pretty sure my manager has some plans for my future.”
Since the announcement of the creation of the UFC women flyweight division, two women who have been dubbed as the “queens” of the division are Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. The two haven’t competed at the elite level of the flyweight division in MMA but because of their achievements in their UFC weight classes. When asked what are her thoughts on the two she humbly says:
“I am sorry but I have no idea who Valentina is. I do not follow MMA at all as I do not have much time for the sport outside training. Joanna is still a really good fighter even after her recent fight. Now it is up to her to prove that she can be a strawweight champion once again. She can come back stronger than before or end up just like Ronda Rousey did. She has a chance at 115 but she won’t be successful at 125. Flyweight girls are much stronger and can hit much harder so I can’t see her winning at 125. I hope she can get her 115 title back and show the world that Polish girls are the best. The best girl at 125 is Jennifer Maia and it is unfair to single out girls that are not even fighting in flyweight. That division will shape up in the UFC in 2018 and at the end of the next year we will see who the real flyweight champion is.”
“Kuma” has had an MMA career of over five years in which she has fought across Europe and the USA. With many tough opponents, one stands out to her, “I consider every fight I had as a tough one as I was never picking easy ones. The hardest one was against Julia Stoliarenko on Fighters Arena. She was really very close to tapping me out.”
Before wrapping up Agnieszka Niedzwiedz left a message for her fans, “December 8 you will see a new flyweight world champion! You can’t miss that!”