Reigning UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s focus is currently on her UFC 211 title defense against Jessica Andrade, but it’s her former weight class that seems to be the subject of the most curiosity surrounding her.
During a UFC 211 media call, Jedrzejczyk fielded multiple questions about the recent decision of the UFC adding a women’s flyweight division to its ranks. For Jedrzejczyk, making 125 pounds available to female fighters is a positive step forward for the promotion.
“I think it should be the good move because somebody goes from 135 pounds will drop to 125 pounds and some girls who are having troubles with making 115 pounds, they will go up,” Jedrzejczyk said. “And it’s very good, like female MMA is getting better and better. People want to watch female fighters, so it was a good move, good decision, the right decision.”
Should the UFC open up the flyweight division in 2017, fans might have to wait a while before Jedrzejczyk would consider a potential move up.
“It’s my goal to defend my title for the fifth time and definitely this year, I will fight just in the strawweight division,” said Jedrzejczyk. “But who knows what’s going to happen next year. So definitely, if I will get this opportunity to fight for my second belt, I will do that. But definitely this year, I want to be focused on the 115-pound division.”
When Jedrzejczyk (13-0) faces Andrade (16-5) at UFC 211 in the strawweight co-main event on Saturday in Dallas, she knows she’ll be facing a tough challenge.
“Jessica proved a lot in the strawweight division,” Jedrzejczyk said. “She drops from 135. She’s the right person, so it’s going to be a really tough fight between me and Jessica. She’s very strong. She likes to fight. She likes to exchange punches, but I’m just getting better and better, and I want to defend my title. And this is what I want to do.”
Having gone the full five rounds in her previous three bouts, Jedrzejczyk was asked if it will be an advantage to her considering that Andrade has never had to fight for an extra 10 minutes before.
“Championship rounds are different and not so many of the fighters can stand this,” said Jedrzejczyk said. “So Jessica hasn’t fought five rounds yet, but she will have this opportunity. So we will see. I believe that she’s ready to fight five rounds.”
While Jedrzejczyk is not opposed to talk of possibly facing Rose Namajunas next, she reaffirms that keeping her title on May 13 is first and foremost in her mind.
“I like to keep busy, so I know that I will put on a good show,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I will put in good work from a few weeks and very happy that there is next opening for me and like I said, I want to… if I’m going to be healthy, I would like to fight very quick after my victory at the UFC 211.
“So the strawweight division is the right division, but definitely is one of the toughest divisions in the UFC. So I am very happy that there is a lot of talent, lots of good female fighters, and (it) doesn’t matter to me who I’m going to meet in the next fight after the fight with Jessica.”