Saturday, May 28, 2022

Joanna Jędrzejczyk Busts Myth About Outside-Octagon Ventures

Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk has rejected the narrative that her business ventures and period away from the cage have affected her motivation to fight.

Over two years on from her memorable Fight of the Year war with Zhang Weili, one of the greatest female fighters in UFC history is set to grace the Octagon with her presence once again.

At UFC 275, set for Singapore on June 11, Jędrzejczyk will return to action with gold and revenge on her mind. Having narrowly fallen on the wrong side of a split decision against Zhang at UFC 248, the Polish star will look to get that one back when she shares the cage with “Magnum” again next month.

During her lengthy period away from MMA, Jędrzejczyk has indulged in a number of business exploits and hobbies. That’s included the development of a supplement brand, a newfound passion for tennis, and even making her off-road rally-racing debut.

With that in mind, and similar to the attitude many have had for Conor McGregor‘s frequent returns to the sport, some have questioned whether Joanna Jędrzejczyk still boasts the level of motivation needed to compete at the highest level of mixed martial arts.

Jędrzejczyk: “I’m So Hungry To Fight”

During an interview with Combat Sports on Fanatics View, Jędrzejczyk insisted that despite her various interests and wide-ranging business involvements, she’s still spent the past two years honing her game and enhancing her fighting skillset inside the gym.

“I’ve never felt so good. It’s great to be back… In October, I made the decision to come back. The last two years have passed so fast,” said Jędrzejczyk. “It feels like it was maybe six, eight months… The last few years I’ve been training really, really hard every single day, twice a day; changing my game, learning new things, bringing my tools.”

With that in mind, the 34-year-old is paying no attention to those who doubt her ability to fight the best based on her social media presence and outside-Octagon ventures.

Citing the fact that she worked in her parents’ shop at the same time as she was securing the UFC’s strawweight throne, Jędrzejczyk dismissed any and all claims that she’s lost focus, motivation, or hunger in recent years.

“I was always a hard worker. So many people, they make an opinion on me (based) on Instagram, you know? But training is always my first priority, and my business partners, they know that,” said Jędrzejczyk. “This is what made me, this is who I am. First of all, I am one of the greatest athletes. My legacy is so big. But, of course, I am enjoying my life outside the Octagon, with media, with my sponsors, and with my business.

“When I was becoming the UFC world champion in 2015, I was working at a grocery store of my parents and I was making $50 a week. People don’t know—so many people don’t know this,” noted Jędrzejczyk. “They somehow judge me, that I’m losing my fight because I don’t keep my focus. That’s not true because my life is outside Instagram and Facebook… I need this extra motivation, but it’s all about the love for this sport I have. I’m so hungry to fight.”

Jędrzejczyk will look to prove her doubters wrong come June 11 by avenging her 2020 loss to Zhang. If she does so, another championship challenge could be on the cards, especially after Carla Esparza, whom the Pole dethroned in 2015, won the belt from Rose Namajunas at UFC 274.

Do you believe Joanna Jędrzejczyk has lost any of her hunger to compete?

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