Joanna Jedrzejczyk doesn’t fight for the money but admits she wouldn’t turn down a “money fight” against strawweight champion, Weili Zhang.
The former strawweight champion collided with the division’s current champion, Weili Zhang, at UFC 248. Whilst the main event between Yoel Romero and Israel Adesanya was a lacklustre affair, the strawweight fighters delivered an action-packed performance that will go down in MMA history as one of the greatest fights ever.
Zhang successfully defended her title in the all-out-war and claimed the decision win. However, the closely contested bout showed the undeniable grit and determination of both fighters. Despite suffering a loss (and a gruesome hematoma), Jedrzejczyk was happy with her “fight of the night” performance.
“I’m very happy that I could give people what they always want,” Jedrzejczyk told MMA Junkie. “I put so much work in a camp for so many weeks and I put on a hell of a fight. I’m very happy. It was probably one of the best fights in my fighting career, but I’m proud of every fight. … It was a war. I know people want this fight, and I need to rewatch it because I haven’t watched it.”
Jedrzejczyk knows the value of a rematch against the Chinese champion. She believes there are many women fighters who need to be recognized for their talents and be paid accordingly.
“Big money – that’s it. That’s what I want,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I don’t need to make more money, but it’s a money fight, and I want a piece of this cake. This fight is a big fight. We were not the main event, (but) we put on a hell of a fight. People love watching … only big things, only big things.”
“The way we fought last time, we’re both warriors, and the people want to see it because it was so close,” Joanna Jedrzejczyk said. “There are so many girls who deserve this, but I think I’m the one.”
Both fighters endured significant injuries during the 5 round battle. Neither attended the post-fight press conference as they were sent to the hospital. The former champion is still recovering but is keen to return as soon as possible.
“A few days, a few weeks ago, I was like, ‘I’m not fighting for the next 12 months.’ But a few days ago, I texted Dana (White) that I wanted to fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “That’s the thing. You never know when you’re going to wake up and say, ‘OK, I’m leaving. I’m going back to the States and start my camp. Sign the agreement.’
“The UFC – we need big fights, and my fight with Weili Zhang is going to be big. So they need this big-money fight. We’ll see. I don’t know.”
Jedrzejczyk is currently in Poland as the world remains on lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently, all UFC fights have been postponed to accommodate the coronavirus restrictions. The former champion doesn’t have a specific date in mind for her return. However, she feels sorry for all athletes that have had their fights postponed.
“There’s so many athletes in the UFC and I feel so sorry for all of them – all of us – that we can’t fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I was lucky I had a fight with an audience – it was a great show. But I feel so sorry for the rest of the athletes. They couldn’t perform – they were training, preparing, spending money, but they couldn’t perform and make this money. So that’s difficult.”
Do you think Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Weili Zhang is the big money rematch that needs to happen? Let us know in the comments below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/16/2020.