Joanna Jedrzejczyk announces retirement after defeat

Joanna Jedrzejczyk, perhaps the most accomplished strawweight in
Ultimate Fighting Championship history, is calling it a career at
34 years old.

The former champion announced her decision following a loss to Weili Zhang in a rematch at UFC 275 in Singapore on Saturday. Jedrzejczyk succumbed to a spinning back fist from her Chinese opponent at the 2:28 mark of round 2. It was the Polish standout’s first Octagon appearance in more than two years, when she fell to Zhang via split decision in a “Fight of the Year”-winning performance at UFC 248 in March 2020.

“I’m retired, guys. I love you so much. Thank you for this opportunity. UFC, Dana, so sorry I let you down,” she said.

“It’s been 20 years. I’m turning 35 this year. I want to be a mom. I want to be a business woman. I’ve been training two decades, more than half of my life. I appreciate you all. I love you guys.”

Jedrzejczyk exits the sport with a 16-5 career mark. She made her UFC debut in 2014 and proceeded to win her first eight promotional appearances. During that stretch, she claimed 115-pound gold with a second-round knockout of Carla Esparza at UFC 185 and defended the belt against the likes of Jessica Penne, Valerie Letourneau, Claudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Andrade. She relinquished the throne to Rose
Namajunas in an upset loss at UFC 217.

The American Top Team representative would never again regain the title, but she was competitive in championship losses to Namajunas and Zhang while also coming up short against Valentina Shevchenko in a bid for the UFC’s inaugural flyweight crown in 2018.

Jedrzjeczyk elaborated on her decision at Saturday’s post-fight press conference.

“It was just the moment,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Of course, I had it in the back of my head like maybe there was one day, maybe a year ago, if something happened I might retire because I’ve been in this business for the last 19 years. Lots of investment from myself. It’s time to fully enjoy my life.

“Honestly, I had no time to sit on it and think about my legacy and how big it is, and I’m a hard worker. I always dedicate myself. I give as much as I can and I get as much as I can the same way but now it’s time to fully really enjoy it. Spend some time with my family. I started traveling when I was 17, I used to live in Thailand, in Holland and in the [United] States, it’s been more than six years from the time I moved to the States, I’ve been on the road. I’ve been doing this most of my life so it’s time to really, fully enjoy.”