Last night (Sat., Oct. 12, 2019), Joanna Jedrzejczyk got back on the winning track with a dominating five round performance over Michelle Waterson at UFC Fight Night 161 (watch highlights). Waterson was game, but she just couldn’t deal with Jedrzejczyk’s volume or size. The former strawweight queen pummeled “The Karate Hottie” for 25 minutes, taking the judge’s decision 50–45, 50–45 and 49–46.
After the win, Joanna mentioned something about a broken foot and she confirmed that suspicion in the backstage area of Amelie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
”I broke my foot in the third round, probably around the end of the second round,” she told UFC’s roving press camera. “And I was keep on kicking, but it’s the fight business. We are not weak.
”In the fifth round I felt pain, but then I was like f**k it, what worse can happen?” she continued during a post-event media scrum. “I’m going to break it into three pieces and they’re gonna put it back together. That’s it. It’s a tough business and I don’t like myself from the Octagon, being injured with the crutches. But it’s my job. Big hobby, big passion, crazy passion, crazy job. This is how we make money, baby.”
And here’s what it her hoof looks like post-fight:
This is how @joannamma’s right foot looks a day after her win last night. She is currently awaiting X-Ray results on both feet, her team tells me. The belief is she injured her right foot by the third round. pic.twitter.com/8wK65VIDqm— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 13, 2019
Jedrzejczyk has had a tough two years. After defending the strawweight title five times, she dropped her belt to Rose Namajunas in Nov. 2017, and then lost the rematch in April 2017. A move up to flyweight to challenge champion Valentina Shevchenko earned her another decision loss. But even with a 2-3 record over this time period, Jedrzejczyk sounds certain this win earns her a fight against current 115-pound title holder Weili Zhang.
”The future is very clear,” Joanna said. “I’m going for the strawweight belt, that’s it. That’s the deal. I’m very happy, I just wanna check my foot and get ready as soon as possible. I’m very happy that I’m back on the winning track and I can’t wait to face the champion. That’s it.”
”I had a few interviews with the Chinese outlets and they asked me about that fight,” she told media scrum reporters. “They are super pumped. They want this fight to happen in Poland. Let’s do it in the National Stadium for 60,000 people. Let’s wait for spring. I will heal my foot. Of course, Weili is the champ, it’s her decision but let’s make this happen. I’m ready. More than ready.”
As for that weight scare leading up to the event that had many wondering if Jedrzejczyk and Waterson would even fight on Saturday? It wasn’t just mind games. Jedrzejczyk let UFC know when she arrived in Tampa that she was having trouble and word of her weight difficulties quickly leaked.
“When I saw on the scale big weight, I just wanted to give a heads up,” she said. “I’m a pro. What I had to go through before the fight with Rose Namajunas, I had my fight. I was not a competitor that fight. I don’t want to take anything from Rose Namajunas. She was the champ. She’s a great athlete, and she’s going to become the champ probably one more time one day. But I had my fight. I’m 32. I cannot put my life and health on the line. It’s not worth it, any money.
”I made the weight in a healthy way,” she continued. ”I hydrated well. A big, big, big credit to the UFC Performance Institute. I did everything, I did everything that I could,” she concluded. “Just my body shut down, my weight went up. But during the fight, everything went smooth and easy.”
For complete UFC Fight Night 161: “Joanna vs. Waterson” results and play-by-play, click HERE.