Joanna Jedrzejczyk feels flyweight is a good fit for her, despite her title fight loss at UFC 231 on Saturday in Toronto. However, she plans on dropping back to strawweight “one more time” for some unfinished business.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk did not get the result she was looking for at UFC 231. In her attempt to claim a second UFC championship, she came up short against Valentina Shevchenko, her old Muay Thai rival. Jedrzejczyk was clearly out-muscled, slammed to the canvas early in the fight as ‘Bullet’ made a statement, proving she had the edge in power. Jedrzejczyk’s gas tank proved deeper, but Shevchenko did not fade nearly enough in the later rounds for the former ‘Joanna Champion’ to get back in it.
Now, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is in limbo, having lost her bid at a flyweight title, while having suffered two defeats to strawweight champion Rose Namajunas. And while UFC President Dana White seems to prefer Jedrzejczyk to head back to strawweight (he said as much at UFC 231’s post-fight press conference early Sunday morning), Joanna herself has a slightly different plan. She explained as much when she took the podium at the post-fight presser.
“I must take some time off, watch the fight, talk to my coaches, Dana, and decide what’s going to be the next step,” she said of what comes next. Jedrzejczyk was non-committal about a rematch with Shevchenko, however, admitting that “there are a bunch of other good flyweights in line” for a crack at the new champ.
Planning on a return to Poland after over half a year in the States, some time off is on the horizon. After that, “we will see what’s next,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Definitely I want to challenge myself, and chase my other dream, and go for the strawweight belt again. So I will wait for Andrade and Rose to fight next year.”
A third shot at Namajunas would be a difficult sell. Jedrzejczyk already has a win over likely challenger Jessica Andrade, however. But the former strawweight champ also feels there might be another path to gold at 115lbs. “Rose has only four months left to defend the belt, because otherwise, she might lose the belt with no fight,” Jedrzejczyk sugggested.
“That’s the thing. I was a pretty busy champion. Other champions are pretty busy. But if you don’t defend your title once a year, you’re losing your belt.” That said, Jedrzejczyk admitted she liked the diet and how she felt at 125lbs. “Flyweight is a good division for me.”
So why the contradiction? Jedrzejczyk explained that “I must do this for myself, you know? To put a dot on [the] I. I will drop one more time to the strawweight division.” That dot, of course, is reclaiming her old title. Admitting that “I’m not getting younger, I’m getting older,” Jedrzejczyk said that after fifteen years in the fight business, “I want to take care of my body. Because this camp I realized, because I’ve never complained about the diet and weight cut, but this camp I realized how it can impact your body, your brain, and your performance, being on such a strict diet for so many weeks.”
“So definitely I want to protect myself, protect my body. But the other stupid thing is, I want to do this one more time.” Selling it as a second chance for herself, she reiterated that a drop back to strawweight is what she wants to do — but “only [a] title shot” will get her there.