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Joanna Jedrzejczyk seeks ‘bigger piece of the cake’ before making UFC return

Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants improved pay upon making her UFC comeback.

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Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been inactive and largely out of the spotlight since her unforgettable title fight with Zhang Weili back at UFC 248 in March of 2020. Earlier this week she was removed from the rankings due to that inactivity, with the expectation that she would ultimately return some time in early 2022.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Joanna once again mentioned something that was first brought up back in January: better pay.

“I feel like I deserve a bigger piece of the cake,” Jedrzejczyk said (via MMA Fighting). “I don’t see myself fighting out of the UFC but there are people who are interested in having me, putting big money on the table. It’s big. I’m a UFC soldier.

“I feel like I sell the pay-per-views but I don’t get any points anymore. But I’m not complaining. I’m not the champ anymore but I feel like I deserve a little bit more. I will discuss this at the table with Dana, with the matchmakers, I feel good. I want to be back to the UFC octagon soon.”

Jedrzejczyk (16-4) was the challenger opposite Zhang Weili in their matchup, losing by split decision in one of the greatest fights in UFC history. Her reported purse for that fight was just $106,000. She said she’d be happy if she received pay-per-view points again, but that’s typically reserved for reigning champions or superstars such as Conor McGregor. Joanna defended the strawweight belt five times from 2015-2017, but never garnered main event status on a PPV and indeed had a couple of her title defenses on Fight Night cards.

As far as her next fight is concerned, she expects to either be competing for the belt (currently held by Rose Namajunas, who’s rematching Zhang Weili at next week’s UFC 268 and is otherwise 2-0 vs. Jedrzejczyk), or in a #1 contender fight. If it’s the latter, then the top-ranked contender is Carla Esparza, whom Jedrzejczyk dethroned as champion when she won the title in 2015.

“There are so many fights but stupid fights,” Jedrzejczyk said. “But I’m waiting for Rose [Namajunas] and [Zhang] Weili. The winner or I can take even the second place. I just want to put on big fights. Dana [White] knows. Dana is a businessman but Mick, he has a different job and he has to make his own money. I bet he makes money out of making fights. But we have a different agreement with Dana and Dana always backs it up.

“I remember what the UFC told me after the fight that I can take as much time as I can and I will be back to the top fighting the best. So I’m guessing the champion or the No. 1 [contender]. That’s it.”