Joanna Jedrzejczyk plans on leaving UFC 231 as flyweight champion, a victory that in her mind will cement her status as the top female fighter in mixed martial arts history.
“After my victory on Saturday, I will prove that I am the GOAT of women’s MMA,” Jedrzejczyk said at a press conference on Wednesday to promote Saturday’s event, which takes place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Jedrzejczyk will square off against Valentina Shevchenko for the vacant 125-pound title in the evening’s co-main event. The two have never met in mixed martial arts, but Shevchenko does own three victories against Jedrzejczyk in muay Thai competition. That doesn’t concern Jedrzejczyk, who says those wins don’t matter because they occurred under a different rule set.
Jedrzejczyk had a lengthy reign as the promotion’s strawweight champ before relinquishing the title to Rose Namajunas in at UFC 217. The American Top Team representative also fell to Namajunas in a closely-contested rematch at UFC 223. Jedrzejczyk has mentioned that a difficult weight cut hindered her prior to her first loss to Namajunas. That won’t be an issue fighting at 125 pounds, however.
“I feel so happy and this camp I realized how difficult it is and how the weight cut and being on a strict diet for so many weeks can impact your body, your brain, and your performance,” Jedrzejczyk said. “So this camp was different because I was able to do more.
“Before every camp, I’m like ‘quality over quantity.’ But actually, it was ‘quality and quantity’ every single day. Because I was eating clean and healthy, but more, I was able to train even harder. So I’m well prepared for this fight.”
Even if Jedrzejczyk does become flyweight champion at UFC 231, she isn’t done at 115 pounds. She provided a warning to the division she used to rule on Wednesday.
“Strawweights, bow down, I’m coming back next year,” Jedrzejczyk said. “What I’m hearing, there is a rumor, I’m hearing more Jessica Andrade facing Rose. Rose has only four months left to defend her belt, I don’t see another way [around] fighting for this belt. That’s it.
“Who else you see? Who else? Who is left? I beat all of them. All of them.”