It’s been well over two years since we last saw Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the cage.
On that occasion, the Polish former UFC strawweight champion lost a close split decision to the woman she returns against in Singapore this weekend at UFC 275 in a firefight with Zhang Weili. This time around, though, Jedrzejczyk has pledged a more surgical, precise performance against one of the division’s most battle-hardened fighters.
“It was my personal decision to not fight,” Jedrzejczyk, who hasn’t fought since March 2020, said via MMA Junkie.
“The first break I took was after the fight with Valentina Shevchenko. I needed that. When I was the UFC champ, I was fighting very often. I was very active. One of the reasons I took a longer break was the time for myself. We don’t have the balance between the private life and the business and sports life.
Then there was no fans at the arena and for me, there is no sport, any sport, without fans. I’m happy I can perform in front of thousands of people in the arena or watching TV.”
But the former champion hasn’t been idle in her time off. Far from it, in fact. She undertook a five month training camp to prepare for the fight at American Top Team in Florida, something she says which will stand her in good stead when the cage door slams shut on Saturday.
“I think that she’s not the same after our first fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Of course I lost, but she’s not the same. But she’s still one of the most dangerous in the division. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.
“I just have to put the gas pedal down and be first, violent, but smart from the first seconds of the fight. There is no time to be wasted in this fight, so we have to play my game from the first seconds of the fight. It’s going to be medical procedureI’m going to be the best surgeon and I will pick the right tools and use them at the right time. Sharp.”