Joanna Jedrzejczyk once looked invincible inside the Octagon. She had racked up 14 consecutive wins in her professional career which included five successful defends of the UFC strawweight championship. But once she faltered against Rose Namajunas, her career began spiraling downwards.
However, with her recent win over Michelle Waterson, she is starting to look like her former self. And the Poland native knows the secret for her return to form.
“Life of a single [woman],” Jedrzejczyk said with a laugh on a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered. “People in Poland know more, but people in the states and worldwide, they don’t know much about my private life. The last two years were pretty difficult for me. It was a rough time, and I feel like 2019 is a special year, so I can’t wait for 2020.”
“I broke up with my fiance, and we broke up before my first fight with Rose Namajunas, and this terrible weight cut happened, and I broke up again,” she said. “This year I found out that my [previous Polish] manager messed up my money, and then I found out that my fiance was cheating on me.
“That girl called me; I think that she was afraid that I was going to beat her up so badly, but I was like, ‘No, I’m kidding.’ I just want to show to people and tell people that there’s always something going on in our lives. It doesn’t matter who you are. If your private life is not going in the right direction, you’re not going to be successful in the sport, or in the business.”
“So I paid the ultimate price because I’m a warrior, I’m a real fighter, and we all are fighters, every single day,” she said. “I was always like, ‘Everything is fine, everything is good.’ And I was trying to throw the bad things out from my head, my mind. But it was there.
Jedrzejczyk will now face the current 115-pound champion Zhang Weili at UFC 248 on March 7 in Las Vegas. She is grateful for the year 2019 as it has brought her back in the mix. She hopes for an even better year in 2020.
“This year was amazing, and I cannot wait for that coming 2020. Now I feel free. I feel me, I feel Joanna again. I’m more smart, I’m more experienced. Maybe shitty things happened in my life, but it has to happen somehow. I’m happy. I know what life is about now. When I turned 30, I thought I knew a lot and I had experienced a lot. I was broken in my life, so dedicated to the sport, losing my mind into the sport, working so hard. But that’s the difference – I’m happy now.”