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Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants ‘promised’ UFC title shot, will settle for Carla Esparza rematch

UFC 217: Open Workouts Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has not held the 115-pound title in over four years and has not competed since dropping a close split-decision to Zhang Weili at UFC 248 back in March 2020.

That said, Jedrzejczyk believes she’s done enough in her weight class to warrant another title shot, despite being down 0-2 to current titleholder Rose Namajunas. Jedrzejczyk just needs the promotion to make good on its promise — assuming “Thug” wants to play ball.

“I know how to do business as well and I understand UFC and Dana promised me after my last fight but I understand Rose’s position,” Jedrzejczyk told South China Morning Post (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “She’s the champ and she can decide who she wants to fight next and when. I feel like I want to be back to the Octagon March-April so if the champ is not going to be ready, if she’s not willing to fight me, I will take another fight because I just want to be back. I don’t want to sit here and wait another six, eight, 12 months – it’s not that UFC made the pressure on me, but I just want to do what’s good and best for me.”

Jedrzejczyk doesn’t appear to be in any big hurry to battle Weili, which is understandable when you consider what happened the last time they fought. But that doesn’t mean the Polish piston is opposed to scoring a strawweight rematch against a familiar foe.

“It would be an interesting fight,” Jedrzejczyk said about running it back with Carla Esparza. “We have a good fighting history. She’s waiting for the title shot. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. She might get the title shot, she might not get it because Dana is saying something totally different than Mick (Maynard, UFC matchmaker). But I don’t know, I would love to fight her and if she wants to get the title shot, I can fight her.”

Jedrzejczyk (16-4) obliterated “Cookie Monster” to win the 115-pound title at UFC 185 back in early 2015, then defended the strap five straight times before losing to Namajunas. Esparza (18-6), meanwhile, is coming off five consecutive victories of her own but appears content to sit out and wait for the next division title shot.

Which may or may not be coming.