Joanna Jedrzejczyk is on her way back to the octagon, and she has her sights set on an old nemesis.
Jedrzejczyk’s recent form is patchy – she has lost four of her last six – but she remains one of the world’s premier 115-pound fighters. However, she hasn’t competed since her split-decision loss to then-champion Zhang Weili at UFC 248 in March 2020.
That inactivity has seen her slide down the UFC’s official strawweight rankings. But, talking to Polish outlet Kanal Sportowy, the former strawweight champion said she’s targeting the division’s top names on her return.
“Everyone thinks I’m not in the UFC anymore,” Jedrzejczyk explained (translated by Sport.pl).
“I am, I just dropped out of the rankings, because I haven’t fought for a dozen or so months.
“But I’m coming back and fighting. It will probably be Zhang Weili.”
Jedrzejczyk’s loss to Weili was hailed as one of the greatest women’s MMA fights of all time and, rather than taking a tune-up fight to shake off any cage rust, the Polish starlet is looking to dive straight back in at the sharp end in a bid to earn a title shot as swiftly as possible.
“I thought it might be Carla Esparza, but (it is) confirmed that she is the next to fight for the championship,” Jedrzejczyk said.
“Somewhere there is (Maria) Rodriguez, who also fights Yan (Xiaonan) in March, and (then there is) Zhang Weili. I don’t see any other fight. Just going for the belt.”
In fact, Jedrzejczyk even revealed that she had been offered the chance to fight current champ Rose Namajunas for the title on her return.
“Dana made me an offer to fight for the championship, but I would have to wait until November, December and I don’t want to wait,” she said.
“I want to fight.”