Despite A Loss Against Valentina Shevchenko At UFC 231, Joanna Jedrzejczyk Won’t Return To Strawweight Unless She Gets An Immediate Title Shot
After having a near death experience to make 115-pounds last year former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk finally made her flyweight debut at UFC 231 this past weekend against former bantamweight title contender Valentina Shevchenko in the co-main event.
The fight was pretty competitive if not dull at times, after 25 minutes of action, it was pretty clear that Valentina’s powerful counter attacks and takedowns were way too much for Jedrzejczyk to overcome. That led Shevchenko to earn a decision win.
At UFC 231 presser UFC president Dana White said he’d want to see ‘Joanna Champion’ to go back to her class where she terrorized the division for years.
“I love her, she’s such a great fighter and such a good person,” White said. “I actually consider her a friend. I want her to take some time off, go spend some time with her family and then we’ll get together and talk about it. But I’d like to see her stay at [115 pounds]. “
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is considered the best strawweight in the UFC history, held the title from 2015 until 2017 with five successful defenses. She was very clear in her words when talking to media after her loss that she’d only return to 115-pound if she gets an immediate title shot.
”Yes, definitely I will stay in 125 division,” Jedrzejczyk told FOX Sports’ Megan Olivi. “But, like I said before during the fight week and during the media that I want to go and challenge myself in the Strawweight division for the belt.”
”I feel good in the Flyweight division,” she said at the post-fight press conference. “I see how my body reacted to the diet and a few more pounds. I was happy and in a good mood, I could do more. Definitely, it’s a good division for me.”
Jedrzejczyk has been very vocal about her bad weight cuts for going down to strawweight especially her first encounter with Rose Namajunas. Considering the fact, Joanna believes 125-pound is something she’s looking to stay for long-term and said she didn’t feel Shevchenko was the strongest fighter she has faced.
So what’s next. Joanna said she’ll wait and see what the outcomes of Namajunas defending her title against Jessica Andrade and from there we’ll move forward. (h/t MMAMania)
”I definitely want to challenge myself and chase my other dream and go for the strawweight belt again. So I will wait for [Jessica] Andrade and Rose [Namajunas] to fight next year. Rose has only four months left to defend the belt, because otherwise she might lose the belt with no fight. That’s the thing. I was pretty busy champion, other champions are pretty busy, but if you don’t defend your title once a year, you’re losing the belt.”
”I must do this for myself, to put dot on it, I will drop one more time to the strawweight division,” she continued. “But you know, I’m not getting younger, I’m getting older. I’ve been in this business for 15 years so I want to take care of my body. Because this camp I realized how, because I was never complaining about the diet and weight cut. But, this camp I realized how it can impact your body, your brain, your performance being on such a strict diet for so many weeks, or the weight cut.”
”So I definitely want to protect my body, but the other stupid thing is I want to do this one more time,” Joanna finished. “That’s it. One more time. We always give second chance to ourselves, and I want to do this. Only title shot.”
Joanna: I'm only going back to 115 for a title shot.
— Matthew Wells (@MrMWells) December 9, 2018
Share your thoughts, do you think after a loss at her flyweight debut Joanna should drop down to strawweight?