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Joanna Jedrzejczyk out to become two-division champ, defend both 115 and 125 belts

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DALLAS — Joanna Jedrzejczyk is already chasing history in one way, with the reigning UFC strawweight champion hunting down the record for consecutive title defenses for a woman in the UFC. That record currently stands at six, held by Ronda Rousey, and Jedrzejczyk will hit five if she bests Jessica Andrade at UFC 211.

But with a women’s flyweight division now officially coming to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter 26, Jedrzejczyk has a new goal in mind too. Starting next year, she wants to replicate a feat only accomplished by Conor McGregor and become the first woman to ever hold two division’s belts simultaneously.

“I remember when I was talking about this division a year ago, people were like, ‘hey, be focused on your belt.’ I’m going for my fifth title defense, and that’s the thing. Why not?” Jedrzejczyk said ahead of UFC 211. “I have bigger and bigger goals and dreams. If I will not win the second belt, nothing is going to happen because like I said, I already reached my goals and dreams, but there is something better coming.

“And the other thing is like, people were saying the same to Conor when he said that he wants to be a king in two different divisions. Same with me. I just want to challenge myself, and this is what I’m doing in my life.”

Jedrzejczyk has spoken openly about the need for a 125-pound women’s division for some time now, but the conversation always appeared to be a pipe dream until this week, when the UFC officially announced the new weight class just months after UFC president Dana White said the promotion would not be introducing a fourth women’s division in 2017.

For Jedrzejczyk, a bigger strawweight who struggled with cutting weight in the early days of her Octagon career, the news was a welcome announcement.

“I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but finally (it did), and I’m very happy for me and for other female fighters,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Because I work with Perfecting Athletes, I have very good doctors, good nutritionists, and I still stay healthy even though I must cut so many pounds during the weight cut. But the thing is, the other girls are not so lucky. The other fighters, they have to do this themselves, but we must be careful with this.

“So I think we needed this division. So many fighters from 135 will go down, so many fighters from 115 will go up. Stay healthy, guys. Don’t take the risk, because fighting, being an athlete or being a businesswoman or doing something, it’s just part of our lives. It’s just part of our stories. But the thing is, other than that, we are going to be normal people, and we must stay healthy for our families, for our future kids. I want to have my own kids, I want to raise them and just be a happy grandma.”

Jedrzejczyk acknowledged that the idea of fighting for a second title at 125 pounds would likely have to wait until next year.

Filming for TUF 26 starts in the summer, meaning an inaugural women’s flyweight champion likely won’t be crowned until late 2017. But Jedrzejczyk is confident her 115-pound reign will last long enough to make her goal of becoming a two-division champion a real possibility, and if that happens, she hopes to do something even McGregor wasn’t able to do by rotating between weight classes and establishing a lengthy reign as the undisputed queen of two divisions.

And in that case, she’s more than willing to stay active enough to support both belts.

“If I would become a champion at 125, I will jump between 115 and 125,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I want to be the real champion of two different divisions.

“I like to break the records, break the limits. I like to make history. I’ll build my legacy. That’s why I moved to the United States, because I want to fight here more often. I want to talk to media more often. So I’m working on a few things, but we will see.”

Source:: mma fighting