“There is no bigger fight in our life than life,” she said, and after clarifying things outside the Octagon, the “real” Joanna Jedrzejczyk was back against Waterson . And her best friend could see it. And although Karolina died last November, her friend retained the lessons she had learned.
Now she wants to get her belt back. Some wonder if the 32-year-old can climb the mountain again. She has no such doubts and she welcomes those who have them because she has already heard everything.
“There are tons of great athletes and great fighters; the UFC is the best organization in the world, ”said Jedrzejczyk. “But the fact is that sometimes you are not the best competitor, maybe you are not the most talented, maybe you are not the hardest working person in the gym, but you can always become the champion because it’s all about what’s in you. It all depends on that desire and the strength with which you believe in yourself. That’s the point. There are people who, when I started training, said, “No, she won’t. But I believed so much in myself and I did it. And I left these people behind. “
This does not mean that doubts never entered while the native of Poland made her way into the world of Muay Thai and then MMA. Was it a viable career? Would she be able to achieve whatever she wanted? It was someone who spoke of winning “minus two thousand dollars” for a Muay Thai fight. But after winning her first two fights in the UFC and having the opportunity to face Carla Esparza for the straw weight title in March 2015, she knew she had found her place.
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“I feel like it was the perfect place for me,” said Jedrzejczyk. “Since I had the chance to represent the UFC, I have had the chance to fight for the belt for the first time five years ago in Dallas, and after winning, I felt to belong to this world, to be born to do it. It was a sign from God that you had to do this. I was on the verge of quitting many times. I was coming back and looking for even more motivation, but I found it after winning the belt and being champion for so long. That’s why I got up and I’m still fighting. “
When a fighter and his championship are intertwined, it is difficult to let go when this belt is no longer there. And few lived the champion’s life better than Jedrzejczyk, who managed to defend his title five times while managing everything else without skipping a beat.
“It’s about staying focused because when you become a champion, you have more and more things to do, more obligations and some people, they don’t know how to deal with it,” she said. . “They just follow the group of people. But I feel like the champion for a reason, and I’m going to do it for the second time. “