After defending her UFC strawweight title for the fifth-time last month, #JoannaJedrzejczyk is taking a well-earned rest back in her native Poland.
While out of the public spotlight, Jedrzejczyk still couldn’t escape all the hullabaloo going on in Warsaw last weekend with #KSW39. Speaking at a Reebok event in the Polish capital, Jedrzejczyk spoke to Polish journalist Wojciech Mrozowski of MMANews.pl about the upcoming #UFC212 fight this weekend between Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
“I always disagreed with what Jessica [Andrade] said before the fight, that she was stronger and a bigger threat to me than Claudia,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I still remember the way I was preparing for Claudia Gadelha—the second time was especially difficult for me. Of course, all training camps are difficult, but this was a really tough one. It will be interesting to see what Claudia turns up in this fight. She’s physically and mentally strong and she’s recently just changed her camp. I’m interested to see what type of Claudia will turn up.”
While happy to speak freely about Gadelha, Jedrzejczyk wasn’t so keen to comment on her fellow Pole, Kowalkiewicz.
“I don’t know,” Jedrzejczyk said, when asked what fans can expect from Kowalkiewicz. “I don’t really watch MMA. I’m just concentrating on myself and improving. My last fight proved that I’m doing the right thing.”
Having defended her belt five times and against five different opponents, many believe that Jedrzejczyk is on her way to cleaning up the division. The champion, however, begs to differ and says that the UFC is constantly recruiting new fighters who have been training specifically just to take her out.
“The division is still evolving and the UFC is always signing new talents,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I’m following it. There are still top contenders in the division I’ve still yet to beat. I’ve no time to relax—all eyes are on me. Sometimes fighters prepare themselves for two years for the championship fight. I know the pressure is on me, but in my last fight I proved to everyone I’m still moving in the right direction and I’m still improving.”
With offers coming in from every angle, Jedrzejczyk isn’t short of opportunities to explore outside of fighting. For the minute at least, it appears the champion is just focused on retaining her title and spending time with those closest around her.
“People keep forgetting to keep a balance to the reality and their career,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I always said that I would never sell my soul to the devil. I will always just concentrate on my closest family. I’m very busy, but I could do three or four times more than what I’m doing. I will have a meeting with my new management at the beginning of July. If I have time I will consider the movie role, but I want to be remembered for my sports achievements. I don’t need to be the prettiest one, or the smartest one—I just want to have a clear conscience that I did everything in my power that I did the best I could and that I did it the way I wanted to do it.”
With the UFC heading to Gdansk, Poland for the first time in October, Jedrzejczyk is curious about the possibility of featuring on the card. Nothing is guaranteed, but it looks like her future should be cleared up in the next few weeks once she’s talked to the UFC brass.
“In a week or two I will contact Sean Shelby and Dana White,” Jedrzejczyk said. “They will decide—there are a lot of factors that will decide whether I fight in Poland or whether I fight somewhere else. The chances right now are 50/50. Right now, I’m just concentrating on recharging my batteries and staying relaxed.”
No doubt Jedrzejczyk will have one eye on the co-main event this weekend when Gadelha faces Kowalkiewicz in Rio.