Joanna Jedrzejczyk recalls almost quitting MMA, ‘There was no money’


PhotoCred: Cage Warriors

In some parallel universe, Joanna Jedrzejczyk never goes on the historic run that she did as UFC strawweight champion from 2015 to 2017. But it very well could have been this universe.

Every UFC fighter’s last fight before joining the biggest stage in the sport holds significance in their career. For Jedrzejczyk, if she never got her opportunity to shine against Rosi Sexton in London, that could have been it for her time as a competitor.

“Six months before I signed with the UFC, I wanted to quit and I was really broke and I was training, there was no fights, I got new management, I signed with Invicta [FC],” Jedrzejczyk told “But there was no fights, it was a really rough time for Invicta. I was in camp for such a long time and there was no money, no sponsors. I got a little bit of money but I hit three fights with my UFC debut in three months and my life got changed. I didn’t give up.

“I won the fight in my town, some small show, and two weeks after I got a call from Cage Warriors to face Rosi Sexton, and my coaches and my manager didn’t want me [to] but they said, ‘Okay, it’s your decision,’ and I said, ‘Take this fight in two weeks, we win this fight, and we’ll sign with the UFC.’ I knock Rosi Sexton [out] in the second round, because they thought I was going to lose because Rosi Sexton was a UFC veteran, but I didn’t. Three days after the fight I got a phone call from [UFC Matchmaker] Sean Shelby and I did it. I did my UFC debut five weeks later.”

Jedrzejczyk’s win over Sexton extended her record to 6-0 at the time. Since then, the Olzstyn native has crafted a lasting legacy as the greatest 115-pound fighter of all time.

The future champion picked up two victories over Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha before going on an epic run that saw her…