This past weekend at UFC 211, UFC women’s strawweight kingpin Joanna Jedrzejczyk stepped into the Octagon against Jessica Andrade for a highly anticipated matchup of styles.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk stepped into the Octagon in hopes of picking her opponent apart and using her elite level striking to defend her belt for the fourth time, while Andrade looked to use her power to hand the champion her first professional loss. ‘Joanna Champion’ passed the test with flying colors as she utilized her striking and movement to pick apart Andrade over the course of 5 rounds.
Following the win, it was no secret that Jedrzejczyk’s next title defense could see her tie Ronda Rousey’s record of most successful title defenses by a female champion.
She spoke to MMAJunkie to defend Rousey from critics who questioned whether Jedrzejczyk thought Rousey could have remained champion longer if she didn’t have distractions outside of the Octagon.
“I know that Ronda Rousey is one of the greatest athletes in this sport,” Jedrzejczyk told MMAjunkie Radio on Monday. “And I don’t believe that she was focused more on the movies, and the commercials (and) photo shoots, than on training. I don’t believe that, because she became an Olympian medalist when she was very young, and I know that she knows what hard work means.”
“It’s not easy to become a UFC champion, it’s not easy to defend the title, or become a rich person, or a popular person,” Jedrzejczyk said. “But the thing is to deal with it. I hope that I’m going to stay humble. I’m going to take this seriously, because I have a good life. I have good people around me. But still, the work in the gym is the most important. Because at the end of the day, people want to see me in good shape during the fight, not on the cover of magazines, not at the commercials.
“I want to be remembered as one of the best and greatest fighters and athletes from Poland, not as a celebrity, or person from the covers or photo shoots. I like to do that – I like my media and sponsorship obligations, but when it’s time for it, I do this. And I believe that Ronda did this the same way. People cannot say that, because they don’t know the truth. Only she knows.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/16/2017.