Joanna Jedrzejczyk has big plans for 2020, plans that start with a UFC 248 title fight against Weili Zhang. If things go her way, she’ll finally recapture her Strawweight title, something she held onto from 2015 to 2017. Two back-to-back losses to Rose Namajunas and a failed strike at the women’s Flyweight title a division up have some people dropping the “champion” from “Joanna Champion,” but Jedrzejczyk has started opening up about what was going on behind the scenes during her losses.
And it all sounds pretty chaotic.
“I broke up with my fiance, and we broke up before my first fight with Rose Namajunas, and this terrible weight cut happened, and I broke up again,” she said during an appearance on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast (via MMA Fighting). “This year I found out that my [previous Polish] manager messed up my money, and then I found out that my fiance was cheating on me. That girl called me; I think that she was afraid that I was going to beat her up so badly, but I was like, ‘No, I’m kidding.’”
”I just want to show to people and tell people that there’s always something going on in our lives,” she continued. “It doesn’t matter who you are. If your private life is not going in the right direction, you’re not going to be successful in the sport, or in the business. So I paid the ultimate price because I’m a warrior, I’m a real fighter, and we all are fighters, every single day. I was always like, ‘Everything is fine, everything is good.’ And I was trying to throw the bad things out from my head, my mind. But it was there.”
Things have finally worked themselves out, and Jedrzejczyk’s 2019 featured a whole bunch of smiling beach time and a one-sided beatdown of Michelle Waterson back in October. A few months into the new decade and Jedrzejczyk will get another title shot.
“This year was amazing, and I cannot wait for that coming 2020,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Now I feel free. I feel me, I feel Joanna again. I’m more smart, I’m more experienced. Maybe shitty things happened in my life, but it has to happen somehow. I’m happy. I know what life is about now. When I turned 30, I thought I knew a lot and I had experienced a lot. I was broken in my life, so dedicated to the sport, losing my mind into the sport, working so hard. But that’s the difference. I’m happy now.”
A happy Jedrzejczyk is a dangerous Jedrzejczyk, and that’s who Chinese champ Weili Zhang will have to face to hold onto her belt at UFC 248 on March 7, 2020.