Joanna Jedrzejczyk took a small break from fighting that seems to have paid off in Tampa. The former strawweight champion earned a unanimous decision victory against Michelle Waterson and has her eye on the strawweight prize after pulling off the win. Her time away was a return to her roots that she said helped her come out on top Saturday night.
“I took some time off after my last fight,” Jedrzejczyk told ESPN after her win. Jedrzejczyk added that, “I wanted to rest my body, physically, mentally and learn.” She said when climbing to become champion, the process of growth and evolution can be present but once the title is won, challengers study champions to beat them. “When you jump from fight to fight, you just focus on your next opponent,” Jedrzejczyk said of her time as champion and that her time off training with Ernesto Hoost, “My background is in Muay Thai kickboxing and boxing, I wanted to mix it up more like I used to.”
Jedrzejczyk’s output was reminiscent of her time as champion as she was able to out-strike Waterson, who is a decent striker in her own right. The current strawweight champion has a similar game and Jedrzejczyk is already thinking about Zhang Weili as her next fight. She said she was, “very impressed”, and saw the finish coming in the first round.
“She’s a very dangerous fighter, and I’m ready,” Jedrzejczyk said about how she matches up with her. One thing she said about her path to champion, being champion and fighting towards that again was how challengers study the champion so that they can beat them. It looks like Jedrzejczyk is already studying Weili and while she said she suffered a broken foot in Tampa, she will have time to study more while she heals.
Will Jedrzejczyk get a title shot soon?