Joanna Jedrzejczyk won’t be fighting anywhere but the UFC for the foreseeable future.
The former strawweight champion revealed to MMA Fighting on Thursday that she has inked a new six-fight contract with the UFC as her current deal neared its end.
“It’s a multiple-fight deal,” Jedrzejczyk told MMA Fighting. “I always said that I want to retire in the UFC, and of course people would love to see me doing this or that after, but I feel like if I retired from MMA, I would retire from the UFC, the best MMA league in the world.
“I don’t want to go somewhere and fight for this bigger money. Money is not everything. I’ve saved enough money for myself, for my kids, for my grandkids probably, but it’s not only about the money. You need to have this pride in you and you have to know what to do and how to prioritize some things. This is what I’m trying to do.”
Jedrzejczyk kicks off that new contract with her upcoming rematch against Zhang Weili — the No. 2 fighter at 115 pounds in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings — as part of the UFC 275 card taking place in Singapore on June 11.
Following her five-round war with Zhang back in March 2020, Jedrzejczyk expressed her desire to stay with the UFC, albeit with a better contract. While she never intended on leaving the promotion, Jedrzejczyk was understandably concerned about her long-term health when compared to the compensation she was receiving in the UFC.
Now those issues have been put to rest under the terms of her new deal, which Jedrzejczyk negotiated along with the date for the rematch with Zhang.
“I’m happy where I’m at right now,” Jedrzejczyk said. “It’s not only the money I can get for the fight, but also some bonuses and some exposure, how I can make some ways to make it work so I can get more connections, more business relationships.
“This is how I look at it. Every sponsorship deal that I sign, I don’t look only at the numbers. I look at the exposure — how much money they want to invest, whether they want to put my face, my body, if it’s going to be billboards, TV, media exposure. I always calculate and see these things. It’s not just about the zeroes, it’s about the investment from the other side. I’m very happy where I’m at right now.”
Jedrzejczyk is widely considered one of the greatest strawweight fighters in history with the longest reign as UFC champion in the division after five consecutive defenses of the belt.
Over her past four fights, Jedrzejczyk has gone 2-2 while making a one-time jump up to 125 pounds for a five-round title fight against Valentina Shevchenko. She returned to 115 pounds after that matchup and promptly picked up a win over Michelle Waterson, which led to her title bout with Zhang at UFC 248 that was almost universally recognized as the Fight of the Year in 2020.
Jedrzejczyk looks to put herself back in title contention again with the rematch against Zhang now scheduled for UFC 275.