Joanna Jedrzejczyk put an exclamation point on her call for the next title shot against reigning strawweight champion Weili Zhang with a dominant performance against Michelle Waterson in the UFC Fight Night main event from Tampa, Fla.
Over the course of five rounds, Jedrzejczyk battered Waterson with a variety of strikes including a barrage of kicks that ultimately broke her foot towards the close of the second round. Still, Jedrzejczyk defied the throbbing pain in her own foot and kept throwing that same kick again and again until the fight was finished.
With the victory, Jedrzejczyk wasted no time turning her attention to Weili with hopes of booking the title fight for 2020 – once she’s healthy and ready to compete again.
In fact, Jedrzejczyk even has an idea on the location for the fight, assuming the recently crowned 115-pound champion is willing to set foot in enemy territory.
“That’s what’s next,” Jedrzejczyk said when confirming her plans to challenge Weili for the title. “I had a few interviews with the Chinese outlets and they asked me about that fight. 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.”
Poland’s National Stadium in Warsaw is a massive venue with a retractable roof that is typically used to hold soccer matches with capacity crowds reaching over 58,000. KSW held a mixed martial arts event there in 2017 with more than 57,000 fans in attendance.
Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought in Poland since 2014, and she’s never had the opportunity to compete in her home country as part of the UFC.
Obviously the most important goal for her is getting a chance to reclaim the strawweight title she held for over two years with five defenses under her belt.
“It means a lot and my legacy’s big,” Jedrzejczyk said about winning back the strawweight title. “I don’t have to prove anything to anybody even to myself. Probably, I should stop but I want to do this. I want to keep on doing this cause it’s my life.
“I was born for this and I feel like it’s my mission to show to people even after I lost my belt, I felt like I had to pick up my gloves and carry myself as a champion and show people it’s worth it to fight for your dreams. That’s it.”
With the Waterson fight still fresh in her head, Jedrzejczyk didn’t want to address a potential matchup against Weili just yet but she’s confident that her coaches at American Top Team in Florida will put together a winning game plan so she can leave that fight as the UFC strawweight champion.
“We’re going to have a perfect plan but we’re going to adjust,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I’m a warrior, I was there, I made it and I will make it again.”