Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk was hoping to make history by becoming the promotion’s flyweight titleholder at UFC 231 in December. Those plans were shelved recently when the UFC went another direction to provide a headlining bout for its upcoming UFC 230 event on Nov. 3 in New York.
Jedrzejczyk had been slated to face Valentina Shevchenko for the UFC flyweight title stripped from Nicco Montano, but when officials got desperate for a championship headliner for UFC 230, they attempted to move the bout up a month. The only problem with that being that Jedrzejczyk didn’t feel she would have enough time to properly prepare.
After she declined the offer, the UFC decided to cancel the UFC 231 bout and instead have Shevchenko fight Sijara Eubanks for the belt in the UFC 230 main event.
With much public confusion about why Jedrzejczyk had been removed from the title fight, the former 115-pound champion issued a statement via her Instagram account, explaining the situation as she knows it.
“Me pulling out of fight? Never! Here is the truth. Yesterday I was informed that my fight had been cancelled. Unfortunately, I received this news from journalists, I was very shocked. I feel angry and sad. The already signed contract on the 8th of December was ignored.
“They were trying to persuade me into taking the fight in November, at the same time depriving me of a chance to properly prepare for the fight during the camp. Valentina is a challenging opponents, and my goal was (and actually still is) to prepare for this fight as best I can, and to eventually become the UFC flyweight champion. I treat every opponent and fight serious and with respect. I could fight in NY if I was interested only in money. Due to respect for other fighters and myself, I rejected the offer made by the UFC to change the date of the fight, as my main goal is to be at my best form during the fight, and in order to do that, I have to do my job from start to finish.
“For 15 years, I’ve been focused only on development, sportsmanship at the highest level, and achieving my dreams. Of course, martial arts are my job, but most of all, they are my passion, hobby, and they fill my life, and run in my blood.
“As a professional and a person who treats her life and work obligations serious, I feel truly resentful about the breach of the fight agreement. My feelings are even more intensified when I think of the obligations I had to resign from, as they would have happened in the time of my camp. I always plan everything long before a fight announcement. Once I sign the contract, there is nothing more important than fight preparations.
“I always try to put myself in somebody else’s situation, be it a life or business one. Thus, I understand the quick decision made by the UFC key people to save the event in NYC. Everything happens for a reason. Sooner or later, I’ll become the champ in two weight classes.”