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Joanna Jedrzejczyk: Ronda Rousey knows what hard work means

Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends Ronda Rousey from critics who attribute the former champion’s losses to her commitments outside of fighting.

UFC 205: Weigh-ins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In 2015 alone, Ronda Rousey appeared in two feature films alongside some of Hollywood’s prominent names. Along with those were other commitments such as talk show appearances and photo shoots for magazine covers.

Critics believe that Rousey’s downfall that same year was due to her laundry list of commitments outside of her fighting career. However, UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk disagrees.

“I know that Ronda Rousey is one of the greatest athletes in this sport. And I don’t believe that she was focused more on the movies, and the commercials (and) photo shoots, than on training,” Jedrzejczyk told MMAJunkie Radio. “I don’t believe that, because she became an Olympian medalist when she was very young, and I know that she knows what hard work means.”

“So, I don’t think people should blame her for that. It just happened. MMA is a beautiful sport, but anything can happen. One fight, one submission, can finish the fight. And the same thing could’ve happened in my last fight, or in the past, or it might happen in my next fight.”

Jedrzejczyk also recognizes that she is on a different track from Rousey, and plans to ride the wave of success in her own way.

“It’s not easy to become a UFC champion, it’s not easy to defend the title, or become a rich person, or a popular person. But the thing is to deal with it,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I hope that I’m going to stay humble. I’m going to take this seriously, because I have a good life. I have good people around me. But still, the work in the gym is the most important. Because at the end of the day, people want to see me in good shape during the fight, not on the cover of magazines, not at the commercials.”

“I want to be remembered as one of the best and greatest fighters and athletes from Poland, not as a celebrity, or person from the covers or photo shoots,” she added. “I like to do that – I like my media and sponsorship obligations, but when it’s time for it, I do this. And I believe that Ronda did this the same way. People cannot say that, because they don’t know the truth. Only she knows.”

Jedrzejczyk is coming a UFC 211 unanimous decision win over Jessica Andrade. Rousey’s future in the sport is unclear at this point, though it looks like she’s leaning towards retirement.

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