clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk among nominees for Top 10 Polish athletes

It's been a hell of a year for UFC Strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who on this date last year was known only for having defeated Juliana Lima by decision at UFC on FOX: "Lawler vs. Brown."

Fast forward to Nov. 28, 2015, and Jedrzejczyk has won four fights since, including the UFC women's 115-pound belt and defended it twice. Needless to say, she has invigorated interest in Polish MMA like no fighter before her.

Now, the tiny, but terrific, fighter has joined some rarified company in a list of 20 of Poland's most famous athletes for the distinction of Sport and Polish Television's (TVP) review of the country's 10 best athletes (link is in Polish).

While it's inconceivable that Jedrzejczyk will top footballer (soccer player) Robert Lewandowski on that list, it's quite remarkable to see how rapid her rise to stardom has been.

Her profile on the voting plebiscite:

28-year-old fighter from Olsztyn, club colleague of Mamed Khalidov, she is the first representative of mixed martial arts (MMA), which was nominated in the Plebiscite Review of Sport and Polish Television. Six-time world champion in Thai boxing since 2012 and competitor in professional MMA. Last summer she made her debut in the octagonal cage of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world's most powerful organization. She defeated two dangerous Brazilians in Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha, and in March 2015 did not give the slightest chance to USA's Carla Esparza and thanks to the spectacular knockout took the title of world champion in UFC Strawweight (52 kg). Joanna defended the belt in June in Berlin, where she won ahead of time with another American, Jessica Penne. November 15 in Melbourne her rival Jedrzejczyk in Melbourne at Etihad Stadium was Canadian Valerie Letourneau. The Polish fighter had her fifth UFC victory.

The complete list of Polish athletes (for those who didn't click the link):

1. Bartlomiej Bonk, weight lifting
2. Pawel Fajdek, athletics
3. Andrzej Fonfara, boxing
4. Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska, Natalia Madaj, rowing
5. Krzysztof Glowacki, boxing
6. Joanna Jedrzejczyk, MMA
7. Michal Jurecki, handball
8. Radoslaw Kawecki, swimming
9. Justyna Kowalczyk, Sylvia Jaskowiec, cross-country skiing
10. Adam Kszczot, athletics
11. Michal Kubiak, volleyball
12. Robert Lewandowski, football (soccer)
13. Rafal Majka, cycling
14. Piotr Malachowski, athletics
15. Veronica Nowakowska, biathlon
16. Agnieszka Radwanska, tennis
17. Rafal Sonik, quad rally driver
18. Kamil Stoch, ski jumping
19. Marta Walczykiewicz, canoeing
20. Anita Wlodarczyk, athletics

Jedrzejczyk is from the city of Olsztyn in northeastern Poland, 54 miles (87 km) from the Russian province of Kaliningrad.

"Joanna Champion" is currently recovering from surgery (her new bionic hand is grateful) after sustaining an injury during her title defense against Valerie Letourneau at UFC 193.

Her next opponent will likely be Claudia Gadelha, the only woman to come close to breaking the donut on the Polish fighter's loss column.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania