Joanna Jedrzejczyk Not ‘Looking for Excuses’ By Revealing Harrowing Weight Cut at UFC 217
On the night Joanna Jedrzejczyk lost her UFC strawweight title and saw her undefeated record evaporate thanks to a first round TKO to Rose Namajunas, she was still determined to face the media to answer questions about what unfolded.
Needless to say it was an emotional few minutes spent on stage as Jedrzejczyk was still trying to process the loss but she knew that it was important to talk about what unfolded even if it was all still so fresh in her mind.
Jedrzejczyk spoke admirably about Namajunas’ performance and her path to becoming champion, paying homage to her opponent rather than explaining what she did wrong in the fight.
Now Jedrzejczyk is back in training camp to prepare for her the rematch with Namajunas at UFC 223 in Brooklyn on April 7 and she’s finally talking about what happened behind the scenes in the lead up to the first fight.
According to Jedrzejczyk, she dealt with the toughest weight cut of her entire career — going from 130 pounds to 115 pounds in less than 24 hours — before stepping into the Octagon with Namajunas.
“It was terrible,” Jedrzejczyk said in an exclusive interview on Monday. “A week before the fight my weight was 127 [pounds] on Saturday and on Sunday I was leaving to New York and I checked my weight in the morning and it went up to 130. So that time the people who I used work with they said it’s only your water, everything is going to be fine. Then I jump on the plane, I got to New York and the next day my weight was the same. They said tomorrow you’re going to be lighter, you’re going to drop a few extra pounds but I wasn’t. I was still 130 and I said do something with this. It can’t be like this. We were planning on being 125 on Wednesday as always so that the weight cut would be easier. But my weight was higher, 130 everyday.
“I was eating healthy, I was eating clean and I was only eating a little bit but my doctor did something wrong and I couldn’t drop this until Thursday, the final weight cut, I was 130. I started my weight cut with 130 on the scale so it was too much. It was just too much.”
The weight cut was so brutal that Jedrzejczyk wasn’t sure she’d actually make it, which would have been disastrous considering she was the defending strawweight champion heading into the event.
Somehow, some way, Jedrzjeczyk got down to the 115-pound limit but she definitely paid for it the next day in the fight with Namajunas.
“In the fight I felt like my mind was there but my body couldn’t follow my mind,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Everything was in slow motion. Everything after the second punch, I don’t remember anything. The punches were not hard but Rose was very precise that night and big respect to her, she’s a champion.
“But I know my body I know who I am and I know how hard I’ve been working for the last 14 years of my fighting career.”
While it still hurts to talk about losing the title and the weight cut the precipitated her defeat, Jedrzejczyk promises she’s not making excuses much less trying to take away from what Namajunas accomplished last November.
Instead, Jedrzejczyk is just explaining what happened with her weight cut and if nothing else using that as a cautionary tale at just how dangerous that practice can be on anybody competing in mixed martial arts.
“I know that people are talking that I’m looking for excuses. But if I was looking for excuses, I could have talked about the weight cut right after the fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I am a real fighter. I did 100 fights in Muay Thai. I did 15 fights in MMA and my fighting career has been amazing. And it’s going to be even better than before. But I had to deal with this. It’s a sport and I knew that.
“Before every fight I was saying I visualized my victory but in the back of my head, I always [knew] something could happen in the fight and it happened in my last fight.”
The past is in the past now, however, as Jedrzejczyk split with her previous nutritionists and she’s now focused on the task at hand, which is getting back the UFC strawweight title on April 7.
“I know who I am,” Jedrzejczyk said with confidence. “And I know that I will get this belt back.”