Joanna Jedrzejczyk will have the chance to reclaim the UFC Women’s Strawweight title, when she takes on the current champion Weili Zhang in the co-main event of UFC 248 this Saturday.
Jedrzejczyk was the UFC Women’s Strawweight champion from March 2015 to November 2017, before losing it to Rose Namajunas. Since losing her title, Jedrzejczyk fought for the vacant UFC Women’s Flyweight belt, but failed to secure the win against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 231 in 2018.
The former champion recently spoke with BJPENN.com, stating that she is confident going into the fights against Zhang and believes the time is right for the belt to reture, where it belongs – around her waist.
“It’s a dream come true. It will be my 14th fight in the UFC and 10th time fighting for a belt,” Jedrzejczyk told BJPENN.com. “I’m very happy that the UFC has this trust and faith in me that I can do it and will.”
Going into the fight, Jedrzejczyk is a slight underdog, with many pundits believing that Zhang’s power will be the deciding factor. The Chinese champion has 4 UFC fights under her belt, but Jedrzejczyk points out that she won the belt in just her 2nd Octagon appearance and plans to show the difference in levels on Saturday.
“I became the UFC strawweight champion after two UFC fights, what about this? People didn’t know much about me either, so it doesn’t change anything,” she explained. “I have to be ready for anything and everything. I’m facing the best strawweight and she’s my next big challenge. She’s the baddest women but I plan on taking back what belongs to me in the strawweight belt. I ran this division for two years and eight months. This will be a perfect night for me.”
Jedrzejczyk believes that entering this bout, she has a clear cardio advantage as Zhang has never gone the distance before. Her plan is to frustrate the champion with her non-stop pressure and volume of strikes, but admits that she has to be careful of Zhang’s power.
“She has never faced someone like me, at the very top. I went through so many five-round battles, wars. I get better with every round and I know she will try and come forward,” she said. “But, I need to be smart in this fight to keep the pace and stay calm and make her quit round to round. Make her be tired in there.
“But, she can knock out people out and the thing is, she’s looking for a submission I think. She’s submitted people and she’s dangerous at everything,” Jedrzejczyk continued. “I’m going to be prepared for everything.”
If Joanna Jedrzejczyk does win against Weili Zhang at UFC 248, she believes the win would be bigger than her legacy.
“This victory is bigger than my whole legacy. This win means everything on March 7. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody even to myself,” she said. “I know how I want to cement my legacy on March 7 again and becoming a two-time UFC strawweight champion, for me and my family and friends, it is everything. My legacy is so big, and I’m doing this for myself now.”
Joanna Jedrzejczyk has stated that she would like her 1st title defense to be against Rose Namajunas, who she believes she can beat 3rd time around. After that, she might move up in weight to challenge for the UFC Women’s Flyweight belt.
“It is an option. I like to challenge myself but right now I’m focused on winning the belt and defending the belt. Who knows what will be next,” she concluded.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 2nd March, 2020.