Joanna Jedrzejczyk remains interested in testing herself in the UFC’s recently-added women’s flyweight division, but that move could still be a couple title defenses down the road.
The reigning strawweight queen will look to make her sixth successful title defense when she faces Rose Namajunas at UFC 217 in New York on Nov. 4. That would tie her with Ronda Rousey for the most title defenses by a woman in promotion history. The Polish star has been dominant since capturing the title with a knockout victory against Carla Esparza in March 2015, putting her belt on the line against the likes of Jessica Penne, Valerie Letourneau, Claudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Andrade.
If she gets by Namajunas at UFC 217, it sounds as though the 30-year-old American Top Team representative is targeting another strawweight title defense in 2018 to surpass Rousey before moving up.
“I love Ronda Rousey. We have a very good relationship, and like I said so many times, she has done so much for this sport, for the UFC and not only for the female fighters,” Jedrzejczyk said on UFC Tonight.
“Of course, it’s all about winning the fight, defending the title and about the records. It’s going to be nice that I will tie Ronda Rousey’s record after I win against Rose Namajunas. But I’m looking forward, because I want to defend my strawweight belt in 2018. And then I will see. Maybe I will move up.”
The UFC announced the addition of the female 125-pound weight class earlier this year. An inaugural champion will be crowned at the conclusion of Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter” in December. In the past, Jedrzejczyk has not been shy about sharing her dreams of being a two-division champion if the weight class became a reality. Now that it is, Jedrzejczyk plans on fulfilling those goals — in due time.
“I’m very excited that the UFC made this decision to bring the new division,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I used to fight at 125 when I was competing in muay Thai or in boxing, or even in MMA before the UFC. I was looking at the 125 division, but it was at that time when I had such big problems with making weight, with making 115.
“But that time, I didn’t work with Perfecting Athletes. Right now I feel great. I put on weight. I feel strong. I feel healthy. And I make my weight easy. I can fight at 115, but maybe next year I will make this decision to move up and I will, of course, defend both titles.”