Former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has highlighted turmoil in her personal life as an important factor in a slump in form that saw her lose to Rose Namajunas twice as well as Valentina Shevchenko between 2017-2018.
“People in Poland know more, but people in the states and worldwide, they don’t know much about my private life,” Jedrzejczyk explained on the UFC Unfiltered show. “The last two years were pretty difficult for me. It was a rough time, and I feel like 2019 is a special year, so I can’t wait for 2020.”
Jedrzejczyk went on to explain how relationships with both her fiance and manager turned sour around the same time as she started tasting defeat in the Octagon for the first time.
“I broke up with my fiancé, and we broke up before my first fight with Rose Namajunas, and this terrible weight cut happened, and I broke up again. This year I found out that my [previous Polish] manager messed up my money, and then I found out that my fiance was cheating on me.
“That girl called me; I think that she was afraid that I was going to beat her up so badly, but I was like, ‘No, I’m kidding.’ I just want to show to people and tell people that there’s always something going on in our lives. It doesn’t matter who you are. If your private life is not going in the right direction, you’re not going to be successful in the sport, or in the business.”
Jedrzejczyk got back on track with a decision win over Michelle Waterson in October and is now looking forward to attempting to rewin the 115lb title in a fight with current champion Weili Zhang at UFC 248 in March.
“This year was amazing, and I cannot wait for that coming 2020. Now I feel free,” she said. “I feel me, I feel Joanna again. I’m more smart, I’m more experienced. Maybe shitty things happened in my life, but it has to happen somehow. I’m happy.
“I know what life is about now. When I turned 30, I thought I knew a lot and I had experienced a lot. I was broken in my life, so dedicated to the sport, losing my mind into the sport, working so hard. But that’s the difference – I’m happy now.”