Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's Strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, has been very vocal about wanting a pay raise from her current employer. And according to the scrappy striker, she seems to have gotten just that ahead of her rematch against Zhang Weili at UFC 275 on June 11, 2022.
“It’s a multiple-fight deal,” Jedrzejczyk told MMA Fighting. “I always said that I want to retire in the UFC, and of course, people would love to see me doing this or that after, but I feel like if I retired from MMA, I would retire from the UFC, the best MMA league in the world,” she said before admitting that she could have probably inked a deal elsewhere for even more money.
“I don’t want to go somewhere and fight for this bigger money. Money is not everything. I’ve saved enough money for myself, for my kids, for my grandkids probably, but it’s not only about the money. You need to have this pride in you and you have to know what to do and how to prioritize some things. This is what I’m trying to do.”
According to Jedrzejczyk, aside from getting a pay bump, a big reason for extending with UFC is the result of getting more exposure, which leads to more lucrative sponsorships deals away from the Octagon.
“I’m happy where I’m at right now,” Jedrzejczyk said. “It’s not only the money I can get for the fight, but also some bonuses and some exposure, how I can make some ways to make it work so I can get more connections, more business relationships.
“This is how I look at it: Every sponsorship deal that I sign, I don’t look only at the numbers,” she continued. “I look at the exposure — how much money they want to invest, whether they want to put my face, my body, if it’s going to be billboards, TV, media exposure. I always calculate and see these things. It’s not just about the zeroes, it’s about the investment from the other side. I’m very happy where I’m at right now.”
Jedrzejczyk and Weili will look to replicate their memorable fight from two years ago at UFC 248 in which the two stood toe-to-toe for 25 minutes in a “Fight of the Year“ contender. Once the dust settled, Weili took home the unanimous decision — and the belt — while Jedrzejczyk wound up with one of the biggest hematomas ever seen in the sport.
Much to the chagrin of fight fans, the rematch will only be a three-rounder since it will take a back seat to a couple of title fights as Glover Teixeira puts his Light Heavyweight belt on the line against Jiri Prochazka, while women’s Flyweight champ, Valentina Shevchenko, faces Taila Santos in the co-main event.