Joanna Jedrzejczyk didn’t beat Rose Namajunas at UFC 223, falling by unanimous decision last month in Brooklyn. And that’s OK for her. Jedrzejczyk believes in her heart that she won and, most importantly, she showed something to herself.
“It was about myself,” Jedrzejczyk told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “It was about proving to myself that I’m still simply the best, that I’m still one of the greatest female fighters in the world. That’s the thing.”
Namajunas beat Jedrzejczyk by first-round knockout at UFC 217 last November to win the strawweight title. The rematch was a much closer fight. All three judges had Namajunas winning four rounds to one, but most onlookers thought Jedrzejczyk won two rounds — and maybe even the bout itself. Several media members scored the bout for Jedrzejczyk.
Either way, Jedrzejczyk will now move on and face Tecia Torres at UFC on FOX 30 on July 28 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It’ll be Jedrzejczyk’s first non-title fight in the UFC since 2014. The Polish striker held the belt from March 2015 to November 2017.
Jedrzejczyk (14-2), who was undefeated going into the first fight with Namajunas, believes another chance at the title is right around the corner. She said she thinks she can get the opportunity once again if she beats Torres.
“I believe that I am going to get the title shot after this fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “We’ll see what’s going to happen. I said that I could have 10 more fights before I get the title shot, because I went through this in 2014 and ’15. I want this belt and I will get this belt back. Mark my words.”
Jedrzejczyk, 30, could have moved up to flyweight and been a title challenger there very quickly. She has a hard weight cut to 115 and 125 is likely a more natural weight for her. But “Joanna Champion” seems bent on getting that strawweight strap back around her waist.
“My plan is to get the belt back first of all and after that I will move up,” Jedrzejczyk said.
Before the first Namajunas bout at UFC 217, Jedrzejczyk had a brutal weight cut and she owed the first-round loss to being depleted in the Octagon. The pre-UFC 223 weight cut was much better, she said, and she worked with nutrition coach George Lockhart before that fight. Jedrzejczyk said might hire him again before the Torres fight, but she’s unsure.
“Of course, I feel the impact on my body of every weight cut,” Jedrzejczyk said. “But I’m ready to do that again. Put on diet and get ready.”
For now, Jedrzejczyk said she’ll start her camp in Poland and then head back to her home away from home, American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. Torres, a former ATT fighter, is first on the docket. Jedrzejczyk figures that Namajunas will defend the title against Jessica Andrade next. Jedrzejczyk has beaten Andrade already, but is not necessarily rooting for her to win the title, saying she’s still “interested” in fighting Namajunas a third time.
Maybe that won’t come right away, but Jedrzejczyk said she’s willing to do whatever she has to do to get back to the belt.
“It will take longer, I will put in work,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I will work my ass to get this title shot again, but I believe that it will happen very, very quick.”