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Joanna Jedrzejczyk breaks down reflecting on retirement, says she didn't expect Zhang Weili to be "that strong"

Joanna Jedrzejczyk fought Zhang Weili in a rematch at UFC 275 [Image credits: Getty and ESPN MMA's YouTube channel]
Joanna Jedrzejczyk fought Zhang Weili in a rematch at UFC 275 [Image credits: Getty and ESPN MMA's YouTube channel]
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Puneet Sharma

After her fight at UFC 275, Joanna Jedrzejczyk took off her gloves and announced her retirement from the sport of MMA. Later, during a backstage interview with Megan Olivi, the 34-year-old got emotional while talking about her decision to retire.

She told Olivi:

"The break I took from fighting has nothing to do with it. But I just been training so hard for last four months. Like, you know, sometimes you just don't have time and opportunity to show all you've been working for but that's again, the beauty of the sport... I'm just full of life, you know. And I'm happy to be retired in the age of 35. I sleep on money, do things I want to do and that's it."

Prior to this, Jedrzejczyk weighed in on her fight and said she underestimated Zhang Weili's strength in their second encounter.

"Like I said, it was going to be the toughest fight in my fighting career and she surprised me with the takedown. We knew she was going to shoot but I didn't expect she was going to be that strong. She was much stronger than I felt her in the first fight and definitely she was working on the ground game... She surprised me with the backfist. I didn't know what was that. I just felt bells ringing in my head and like, falling down."

Watch the full interview below:

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The rematch between the 34-year-old and Weili was much shorter than their first encounter. 'Magnum' used her grappling skills in the first round to get the better of Jedrzejczyk and in the second round, knocked her out cold with a spinning backfist.


Joanna Jedrzejczyk earned Valentina Shevchenko's respect through years-long rivalry

Valentina Shevchenko has showered praise on former rival Joanna Jedrzejczyk for her successful MMA career and called her an inspiration for women.

During the UFC 275 post-fight press conference, 'Bullet' was asked for her thoughts on Jedrzejczyk announcing her retirement from MMA. The flyweight queen said:

"She [Joanna Jedrzejczyk] is [a true] martial artist and she's been in martial arts for so many years... She is an amazing example for many people, inspiration for many women to do martial arts, to be successful, to be powerful... I know Joanna since 2006, this is the first time we fought together. We, every time, was opponents. In my Muay-Thai career, even here in UFC, we had a fight... This [rivalry] has made us gain respect of each other. I know how hard she's worked. I know how dedicated she is as a person and I just have true respect [for] her and she deserves all love of the fans."

Watch Shevchenko's appearance at the press conference below:

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Shevchenko and Jedrzejczyk competed for the flyweight title at UFC 231. The fight was a one-sided affair where 'Bullet' cruised to a unanimous decision victory.

The two had also fought thrice in Muay Thai and Shevchenko was victorious in all three of those encounters.


Edited by C. Naik
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