After losing her last bout and three of her last four overall, it might have appeared as though Joanna Jedrzejczyk was nearing the end of the road in her MMA career.
Jedrzejczyk proved otherwise against Michelle Waterson.
Jedrzejczyk (16-3) was masterful against “The Karate Hottie” in the main event of UFC Fight Night 161 in Tampa, as she won a lopsided unanimous decision over a high-level fighter with a huge fanbase. Jedrzejczyk used her terrific striking prowess to keep the Albuquerque fighter at bay, and she picked Waterson (17-7) apart with ease.
“Guys, I said before that it was going to be my party,” a jubilant Jedrzejczyk said after she was given the judges’ nod with scorecards of 50-45 (twice) and 49-46. “I danced really hard and I feel like I could do five more rounds. I fought with a broken foot since the end of the second round, beginning of the third, it was hard.”
Jedrzejczyk admitted that even though she knew how durable and skilled Waterson is, “The Karate Hottie” was better than expected.
“I expected that she was going to clinch more, but I was ready,” she said. “I feel like my grappling, my wrestling is improving every day. She surprised me. She’s such a warrior, but I knew that she was going to be in the best shape ever.”
The former UFC strawweight champion feels that she still is the best in the world, regardless of her setbacks inside the Octagon the past few years. She wants to ascend the proverbial ladder again and eventually reclaim the title, which she feels is still hers.
“Who is the real queen?” she asked. “Bow down, bow down, I’m the real queen. Dana, I’m calling you in a minute. Let’s go baby, let’s fight for the belt.”
At the post-fight press conference, Jedrzejczyk commented that as long as her injured foot is fully healed, she wants her next battle to be a massive one. She wants to fight current strawweight queen Weili Zhang in a stadium in Jedrzejczyk’s homeland of Poland next spring.
“It means a lot,” she told the assembled media. “My legacy is big. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody, even to myself. Probably, I should stop. But I want to do this. I want to keep on doing this because it’s my life. I was born for that, and I feel like it’s my mission.”