At a time when Joanna Jedrzejczyk should have been jubilant she was fighting back tears. During the UFC 211 post-fight presser, and shortly after her one-sided drubbing of Jessica Andrade, the strawweight champion took questions from the press. One, seemingly innocuous, among the rest seemed to shake her up.
Jedrzejczyk left the press conference shortly after being asked about, and apparently somewhat blindsided by, the news that ATT wrestling coach Kami Barzini was set to leave the team. It was a strange scene for a fearsome fighter that had just put on one of the best performances of her career. But, in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Jedrzejczyk talked about her emotions at the time and gave clarity to the confusion (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“It’s amazing how he changed my wrestling, how he changed my takedown defense,” Jedrzejczyk said. “You can see that in my last fight. That’s the thing. I’d like to work with him. And he’s such a good person. He’s a master of wrestling — he’s my master. But he’s like such a good spirit. He’s like a doctor.
“Before this fight, he said I’m like a lion. I felt like a lion.”
“It’s not just about the work,” Jedrzejczyk said of her relationship with the coaches at ATT. “They really take care of me. They’re with me all the time. They ask me how I feel after the training, before the training. We hang out together.”
“Good people connect with good people and this is what happened with us,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Maybe I’m the baddest chick on the planet, maybe I’m the baddest woman in the Octagon, but I’m definitely emotional. I believe in people so badly and I love when people treat me the same way. It’s not just about the money.”
Jedrzejczyk even says she’ll try to continue working with Barzini outside of her training at ATT. Which just means more trouble for the rest of the division looking to catch up to the champion’s game.