It looks like the UFC strawweight division could get much more interesting in the coming months.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is known for being the former champion of the division and for being on top of it for years after taking the belt from Carla Esparza, but her results since then haven’t been the best. Jedrzejcyzk moved up to flyweight in an attempt to regain her momentum after repeated losses to Rose Namajunas, but couldn’t take the title after losing to Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 231.
In Melbourne, Australia, for UFC 234, Jedrzejczyk told Brett Okamoto from ESPN and other media members that she intends to move back down to 115-pounds, where she has had the most career success.
“I will go down to 115 pounds. I need time to refresh my body, refresh my mind, but I feel the fire,” said Jedrzejczyk. “Definitely, if I want to compete in 125, I need to put on muscle and build power, but I couldn’t do that before that fight with Valentina Shevchenko because I [was still] planning to go to 115.”
Despite the loss, Jedrzejczyk still claims that she is happy to have fought Shevchenko, and says that she didn’t feel power in Shevchenko’s punches. Rather, the clinch was where she lost the fight. If Jedrzejczyk does jump back to the strawweight division, she’ll have to work her way back to the top and earn a title shot. An immediate one isn’t a given anymore after two losses to the champion Namajunas, and Jedrzejczyk only has one win in her last four outings, which came against Tecia Torres last July.
Jedrzejcyzk currently has no scheduled fight, but an eventual trilogy fight with Namajunas still looms on the horizon. If not in her next fight, after another win or two. It could also happen if Namajunas loses against Jessica Andrade in May. Jedrzejczyk gave her opinion on that fight, and the wait between the scheduled bout and Namajunas’ last title defense.
“I was getting mad at Rose. Of course, she’s the champion, but I was a busy champion. You cannot wait. You must defend your belt once a year. I’m very happy this fight is happening. I definitely want to go to Brazil and watch this fight live.”
Jedrzejczyk is currently the number two contender in the strawweight division, behind Andrade. Her move back down makes things much more interesting with a crowded top half of the division, which includes new contenders Tatiana Suarez and Nina Ansaroff.
Sports writer and photographer in Buffalo, originally from Jersey. Fan first.