The wheels seem to be turning for a Joanna Jedrzejczyk long-awaited octagon return.
The former UFC strawweight champion is targeting a comeback this year and hopes it’s against one of her most memorable rivals – Zhang Weili. The initial meeting was Jedrzejczyk’s (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) most recent fight, as they put on the Fight of the Year at UFC 248 in March 2020 at UFC 248, with Weili (21-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) winning a split decision in the unforgettable contest.
Jedrzejczyk has teased a return in the nearly two years since, but nothing has materialized. Speaking in Polish with Kanal Sportowy, Jedrzejczyk opened up about her plans to return to action in 2022.
“Everyone thinks I’m not in the UFC anymore,” Jedrzejczyk said (translation via Sport.pl). “I am, I just dropped out of the rankings, because I haven’t fought for a dozen or so months. But I’m coming back and fighting (the No. 1 contender). It will probably be Zhang Weili.”
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Jedrzejczyk, 34, last lost four of her past six fights, but all of the defeats were for a championship. The Polish fighter said UFC president Dana White offered her another title opportunity next, but she didn’t want to wait until late in the year to challenge the winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza.
The UFC has yet to officially book the strawweight title fight, but White already announced that Esparza will be the next challenger for champion Namajunas.
“I thought it might be Carla Esparza, but (it’s) confirmed that she is the next to fight the championship,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Somewhere there is (Maria) Rodriguez, who also fights Yan (Xiaonan) in March, and (then it) becomes Zhang Weili. I don’t see any other fight. Just going for the belt.
“Dana made me an offer to fight for the championship, but I would have to wait until November, December and I don’t want to wait. I want to fight.”
Jedrzejczyk didn’t reveal when the fans could possibly expect a potential rematch with Weili, but she’s confident it’ll come to fruition in 2022.
Zhang Weili def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248: Best photos
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