Athletes & Celebrities

UFC Women's Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk Interview

The 27-year-old dominant women's strawweight champion shares her thoughts on being a champion and when she plans to fight again.

UFC Women's Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk Interview

Move over Ronda Rousey, there's a new sheriff in town.

Devastating Polish muay-thai master and UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk made waves after her thunderous TKO victory over Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin, Germany. 

The 27-year-old made the second-straight title defense of her burgeoning MMA career in dramatic fashion, badgering Penne's face with elbows and punches, until the referee had seen enough in the third-round. Perhaps her most marketable feature is not her crisp striking, but her personality. 

Jedrzejczyk, or Joanna Champion as she's called, gave one of the most noteworthy post-fight speeches in recent memory after her win over Penne. 

"And again, and again, and again. I told Jessica that this fight was going to be a war. Was it a war?" Jedrzejczyk asked the German crowd, which would erupt into a frenzy. 

She would not come out of the victory unscathed, however, and is nursing a broken thumb at the moment. After traveling around the U.S. and Europe for doctors visits and UFC shows, Jedrzejczyk expects to be back in Poland.

While in NYC to promote and model the new Reebok-designed UFC Fight Kit uniforms, the champion of the 115-pound division sat down with Muscle & Fitness Hers to discuss her training, diet, Polish MMA, and much more. 

Muscle & Fitness Hers Interview with Joanna Jedrzejczyk

What does it mean for you to be face of women's MMA in Poland?

JJ: I'm very happy that I'm European and from Poland. I'm the champion and I'm happy the belt is in Europe. I wish that soon we get other champions from Europe. Maybe next week; it's going to be Conor [McGregor]. We will see.

What do you see in Conor stylistically?

JJ: I think he brings something different; special, new and fresh to the Octagon. I think he can be a champion but of course Aldo is. He defends his title so many times. 

Have you ever trained with Conor?

JJ: No, no I didn't but I watch his fights. I watch some movies with him on UFC TV. I watch him so much. 

Can you talk the specifics of your individual sponsorship deal with Reebok?

JJ: I'm very happy I signed a contract with a big company that just became big with the UFC. It was a special day for us today. You could see the kits. It's very good. 

How popular is MMA in Poland?

JJ: It's very popular. There's shows every weekend; every week. Even a few shows in one weekend. MMA is very big. We have some other small shows. People know a lot about MMA and fighters. It's the second sport after soccer. 

How was the reception in Poland after your recent win?

JJ: I've gotten lots of attention from media and fans. It was really nice. People are recognizing me more. It's a big deal. I'm happy.

Do you look at yourself as a role model?

JJ: I'm myself all the time. I'm the same person.

How did it feel to have a fellow women's champion in Ronda Rousey talk about your last performance?

JJ: I was very happy. I think she's the best. I look at her as my idol. She's amazing. I'm a champion. She's a champion. We keep together. 

Do you ever wish that you started fighting in MMA sooner?

JJ: I didn't think about that. I'm a champion. I defend my title. It was a good time. 

You said that you will be getting back into the gym in around 2-3 weeks, correct?

JJ: I'm going to LA tomorrow to see a UFC doctor to see what they're going to say about my thumb. I spoke to Polish doctors and they say I don't need surgery. I think in 2-3 weeks I can take off my cast and just start doing some easy training.