Joanna Jedrzejczyk explains retirement following Weili Zhang loss: “I don’t want to be this legend who is going to fight forever and get beat up”

By Josh Evanoff - June 29, 2022

Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has elaborated on her reason to retire.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

The Polish fan-favorite was in action against Weili Zhang in a rematch earlier this month at UFC 275. Their first outing at UFC 248 in March 2020 was one of the greatest bouts in UFC history. However, the rematch was much more one-sided, as Jedrzejczyk was knocked out in round two.

The loss was the former champion’s fifth in her last seven contests. In the cage following the defeat, Jedrzejczyk announced that she was hanging up the gloves. In an interview with MMAFighting, the 34-year-old discussed her decision to retire from MMA.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk explained that she wanted to go out on her terms. Although she lost to Weili Zhang, that was just only one defeat, and it was one where she could hang her head high.

The fan-favorite also revealed that one of the motivators for her to retire was she didn’t want to stick around too long, like other MMA legends.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

(via Jeff Battari/Zuffa LLC)

“I always wanted to retire on my rules and I don’t want to be this gatekeeper. I don’t want to be this legend who is going to fight forever and forever and get beat up. That’s the thing. I accept where I am at, what my age is. The craziest thing about it is it was the best camp of my life. I was in the best shape ever. Stronger physically, mentally than before. That’s the craziest thing because I’m still having so much love for this sport and I don’t want to leave but somehow I have to take care of myself.” (h/t MMAFighting)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk continued, “We pick this sport, I chose to be a fighter and we have to pay the price. Sometimes you have to be smart enough to say enough to protect yourself for the future. That’s the thing. It’s hard. I’m still digesting my decision, and it isn’t easy, but somehow I’m happy.”

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