(Photo: Jim Edwards)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk Says Winning Flyweight Title at UFC 231 Will ‘Cement’ Her Legacy

Joanna Jedrzejczyk has already accomplished a lot during her UFC career but she says winning a second world title at UFC 231 would cement her legacy for good

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is proud of everything she’s accomplished during her UFC career.

While she wasn’t the first women’s strawweight champion (she was actually the second), Jedrzejczyk remains the longest reigning title holder in the division after ruling at the top of the 115-pound weight class for more than two years and five title defenses.

During her time atop the strawweight division, Jedrzejczyk was routinely in the conversation as the best pound-for-pound women’s fighter on the planet alongside names such as Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg.

Very fight fighters accomplish that much but Jedrzjeczyk has the chance to breathe even more rarified air this weekend when she competes for the UFC women’s flyweight title.

A win over Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 231 would make Jedrzejczyk the second ever women’s champion at 125 pounds in the UFC but more importantly she would become the first woman in company history to hold two titles in two different divisions.

That was a feat first accomplished on the men’s side by Randy Couture and Jedrzejczyk knows becoming the first woman to do the same would put her into the history books forever.

“It means a lot after I win the flyweight belt on Dec. 8. I will cement the legacy,” Jedrzejczyk said ahead of her fight on Saturday night. “There’s a reason I got the title shot. There’s a reason they called me. They called me and asked if I could fight Valentina Shevchenko.

“My legacy is already big but I will cement that and show to people that we can slow down but we can’t stop and we should work hard to make our dreams come true.”

After losing her strawweight championship last year, Jedrzejczyk was admittedly despondent about what her career would mean without the belt and losing her previously undefeated record.

Over time, Jedrzjeczyk realized that life didn’t stop or start based on a title belt being wrapped around her waist but she never lost sight of the goals she had for her career.

“After we lost or something happens in our lives we think ‘that’s the worst thing that could ever happen to me’ but no, life is too long,” Jedrzejczyk said. “You shouldn’t be focused on these things because there is a lot more things that are going to happen in our lives, good and bad. We shouldn’t sit and cry on things. We should keep on looking forward and keep on moving.”

To move forward in her own career, Jedrzejcyzk is moving up a division and challenging for a second world title when she faces Shevchenko this weekend and making history yet again is exactly what she’s after.

“That’s the point,” Jedrzejczyk said about doing what’s never been done before. “I was the first European female fighter who won the UFC belt in 2014. I defended a bunch of times and now I’m going to be the first one to be flyweight champion as well from Europe. Making history with every fight. That’s the point.”

 

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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