Joanna Jedrzejczyk returned to her old ways and scored a unanimous decision victory over Tecia Torres at UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary.
Just like Jose Aldo before her, Jedrzejczyk’s vintage performance was a reminder of what she is still capable of in this division. The former strawweight champion stuffed all of Torres’ 10 takedown attempts while managing to land almost double the number of significant strikes than her opponent was able. It was the same winning recipe that Jedrzejczyk had relied on during her winning streak of 14 that lasted five years.
Although Jedrzejczyk didn’t have the belt wrapped around her waist after defeating Torres, she still considers herself the champion of the strawweight division and believes this win cemented her legacy as the greatest strawweight in the world.
“Maybe I don’t have this belt physically, but people call me a champion because they know who Joanna Jedrzejczyk is and that’s the point,” Jedrzejczyk explained to media at the UFC on FOX 30 post-fight press conference.
“They say I lost to Rose twice and that I’m not the strawweight queen. But if you take all of the ten ranked strawweight fighters and put them all together, they don’t have a big legacy like mine. They can call me whatever they want to call me. I know who I am and how big my legacy is. I cemented that today. People can be jealous and point at me and doubt me, but I will do my thing. I will become a champion again. I’m closer to getting what I want to get, and I’m willing to put in the work.”
A step closer to reclaiming the title
Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s victory at UFC on FOX 30 is a significant step forward in her efforts to recover the title that was once hers.
Not many expected the former champion to lose her title to Namajunas needed just three minutes at UFC 217. In fact, the betting odds reflected an 86.21% probability that Jedrzejczyk would be victorious. Crazier things have happened in mixed martial arts though, and Namajunas needed just three minutes to defeat the champion and walk out of Madison Square Garden with the UFC Strawweight Championship.
Jedrzejczyk, who was one win away from tying Ronda Rousey’s title defense record, later explained that a ‘horrible’ weight cut ruined her chances of success at UFC 217.
“I was going to win that fight, and I still believe in this. I was going to tie Ronda Rousey’s record, but I paid for someone else’s mistakes.”
Although Jedrzejczyk is yet to explain the details of her weight cut, she insists that she will describe her experience leading up to that night at UFC 217 by writing a book once her fighting career has finished.
“I know what impacted my performance that night. I was not a competitor, I didn’t have a chance to show people how hard I was training, how much work we put into the preparation … the weight cut just killed my brain. It wasn’t the real Joanna you’re used to seeing.”
“After I’m done with fighting, I will write a book about it. People can say whatever they want, but I know what I had to go through. And the other fighters who say I’m using this as an excuse, shame on them for saying this.”
Not ready to admit defeat
The unanimous decision defeat to Rose Namajunas at UFC 223 might have been even more devastating for Joanna Jedrzejczyk than losing her title at UFC 217. Jedrzejczyk has previously explained that a fight that lasts the distance – and not just one round like her previous fight with Namajunas – would ultimately prove who the better mixed martial artist is.
Despite being on the losing end of consistent 49-46 scorecards, Jedrzejczyk isn’t going to admit that the current champion is the best in the division.
“Rose is saying that she will give me a third fight after I say that she is the best. No way,” Jedrzejczyk explained at the post-fight press conference.
“I will not do this. I will not do this, never ever. If she wants my honor, she must earn that.”
“Maybe you beat me, and you’re the champion. Maybe you won, but your legacy is not that big. You should bow down because I’m the queen.”
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.