Joanna Jedrzejczyk was looking to reclaim the UFC strawweight title against Weili Zhang at UFC 248 last month. While the two put on a memorable performance that rightfully earned Fight of the Night honors, the former 115-pound champion was left visibly battered until the week after the bout.
But for Jedrzejczyk, the pain went beyond just the physical. In a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, she recounted some of her emotional moments at the hospital.
“They did a small medical procedure on my ear, I had a CAT scan,” Jedrzejczyk recalled. “I had an ultrasound, I had an X-ray, and honestly, after a fight like this, I felt like every touch from the doctors and nurses, everything was so painful.
“I didn’t want anybody to touch my body, and I felt like my heart was bleeding, like my soul was bleeding.”
Jedrzejczyk is fully aware about the physicality of her chosen profession. After having achieved UFC gold which many of her contemporaries aspire for, the 32-year-old Polish fighter is already looking at her life outside of competition.
But for now, she’s here to stay.
“That’s a question I ask myself every day,” she said about retirement. “I’m not getting any younger. I’m only getting older. I took lots of damage in my last fight and I’m really grateful that nothing serious happened to me. It was only bruises. Every next fight is going to be a big risk, and I want to be a mother in the future.”
“If I put on a hell of a performance, a hell of a war, why retire?” she added. “If I was not training hard, if I was getting knocked out, if I was losing fights like a p****, then I could retire – but I’m a warrior.
As for her next career move, Jedrzejczyk wants a rematch with Zhang, a matchup which she feels is the “big-money fight” that the UFC needs.