UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk recently moved from her native Poland to the United States to train at the highly respected ATT gym in Florida, but apparently other female fighters in the gym weren’t exactly thrilled to see her at first.
“To be honest first days were… quite difficult,” Jedrzejczyk told Polish site, Przegladsportowy. “Girls weren’t amazed that I’m here. Valerie, Amanda Nunes, Nina Ansaroff, and Tecia Torres seemed to be saying to themselves ‘What is Jedrzejczyk doing here?’ Valerie [Letourneau] I beat, Tecia dropped in rankings, Nina hasn’t fought for a long time… What are we even talking about? What kind of threat am I to them? What kind of threat are they to me?
“After a few days, one of them said ‘Joanna is a beast.’ I think they finally saw what it takes to get on top, to get that belt, and defend it. Jessica Aguilar stuck up for me and said ‘Girls, why are you gossiping about Joanna? Let’s train normally and just learn from the best in the world.’ They thought that I came there only for a while. And I think that I found a place to train at for the rest of my career.”
While it’s taken some of her peers time to warm up to her, it sounds that life in general is working out well for the Polish star in Florida.
“Everyone here is very kind to me. People offer to spend time with me and to go out to the city as they know I’m new. Most my time I spend with Dr. Michelle and my dietician Paulina of Perfecting Athletes. I also go to Sunday Mass as it’s very important to me. I go to a church very near Coconut Creek and the priest is very cool and can tell a good joke. I really like that there are a lot of Poles here, like in Las Vegas, After Mass, people recognize me and take pictures with me and visit me at ATT.”
The most important thing for Jedrzejczyk though is to improve as a fighter, and she feels she’s now found the right place to get to the next level.
“I care about eating well, getting enough sleeping, and being ready to workout, because this will all matter on the day of the fight. I believe now I’ve found the right place, and I have arranged it all myself. When preparing for a fight, I must be selfish. I have to know that I will be able to cope physically and mentally.
“I feel like I’m on a mission now. I miss my loved ones from Olsztyn in Poland, but I have to do what’s best for me to make sure I win.”
Fans will get a chance to see what effect her new training regime is having when Jedrzejczyk goes up against fellow Pole, Karolina Kowalkiewicz on the main card of the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 12th.