She had to overcome a cancelled flight and lost luggage — both hers and her coach’s — but Joanna Jedrzejczyk is in Singapore and ready to return to the octagon for the first time in over two years.
“I’m in the best shape ever. Until the end of March, I didn’t know I was going to fight, but I was training like I was going to fight. 13 times a week, every week,” Jedrzejczyk (16-4) said during this week’s UFC 275 media day. “So you can imagine how much effort, sacrifice, tears, blood, sweat, up and downs I put into this camp. I feel in the best shape ever, but as you know, it’s all about this one fight.”
“This one fight” is a rematch with Weili Zhang, with the pair running it back just over two years removed from their UFC 248 classic. Jedrzejczyk has not fought since losing a split decision in what many consider one of the greatest fights of all time — but the rematch is exactly the sort of challenge the former strawweight champ was looking for.
“Big fights only. Big fights only, and she’s one of the best. She made it to the league, she was the champ, and me [too]. So we made it,” Jedrzejczyk said. “And she’s the best; after her two losses, she proved that she’s one of the best, one of the toughest in this division. I know there’s lots of talk about other girls, who should get the title shot, but there are girls— we show up. Me, Weili, Rose [Namajunas], and we put on a hell of fight every time. This is what this business is about. It’s not about boring fights, it’s not about just fights, it’s all about being the best every time you step in there.”
UFC President Dana White recently confirmed that the winner of Jedrzejczyk vs. Zhang 2 will be next in line for a shot at 115 pound champ Carla Esparza. The former “Joanna Champion” revealed that she was already in the know on that front.
“Actually, I knew that. I would not sign the agreement for this fight if I didn’t know that I was going to be the next [in line] after winning on Sunday [Saturday in North America].”
As she heads into her first fight in two years and then some, Jedrzejczyk continues to hold the title defense record at 115 pounds. Five title defenses in total, a record yet to be surpassed in the weight class.
Asked what she believes that says about her reign, Jedrzejczyk replied that “I was the champ for a reason, that I was very dominant and dedicated. And I am still. They can take all the records. I will just go there and do my thing, and become the strawweight champ for the second time. There hasn’t been born a girl who could tie my record yet. In the strawweight division, of course.”
Watch the full UFC 275 media day appearance from Joanna Jedrzejczyk above. The event takes place this Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.