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Joanna Jedrzejczyk ‘very shocked’ to find out she’s no longer fighting Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 231

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The UFC badly needed a main event at Madison Square Garden for UFC 230, and instead of promoting Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz to headliner status, they opted to book Valentina Shevchenko against Sijara Eubanks for the women’s flyweight title. Shevchenko was supposed to fight former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231, but now Jedrzejczyk finds herself without a fight.

This news came as a shock to many fans who were looking forward to Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk, and evidently this was also news to Joanna, who claimed in a lengthy Instagram statement that she was not made aware of this decision until she read it from MMA journalists. She also said that the UFC tried to have her still fight Shevchenko on November 3rd, but she turned it down citing more prep time for a difficult opponent.

Me pulling out of fight? Never! Here is the truth. Yesterday I was informed that my fight had been cancelled. Unfortunately, I received this news from journalists, I was very shocked. I feel angry and sad. The already signed contract on the 8th of December was ignored. They were trying to persuade me into taking the fight in November, at the same time depriving me of a chance to properly prepare for the fight during the camp. Valentina is a challenging opponent, and my goal was (and actually still is) to prepare for this fight as best I can, and to eventually become the UFC flyweight champion. I treat every opponent and fight serious and with respect. I could fight in NY if I was interested only in money. Due to respect for other fighters and myself, I rejected the offer made by the UFC to change the date of the fight, as my main goal is to be at my best form during the fight, and in order to do that, I have to do my job from start to finish.

For 15 years I’ve been focused only on development, sportsmanship at the highest level and achieving my dreams. Of course, martial arts are my job, but most of all, they are my passion, hobby, and they fill my life and run in my blood. As a professional and a person who treats her life and work obligations serious, I feel truly resentful about the breath of the fight agreement. My feelings are even more intensified when I think of the obligations I had to resign from, as they would have happened in the time of my camp. I always plan everything long before a fight announcement. Once I sign the contract, there is nothing more important than fight preparations.

I always try to put myself in somebody else’s situation, be it a life or business one. Thus, I understand the quick decision made by the UFC key people to save the event in NYC. Everything happens for a reason. Sooner or later I’ll become the champ in two weight classes.

Jedrzejczyk (15-2) broke a two-fight losing streak to current champion Rose Namajunas by defeating Tecia Torres at UFC on FOX 30 in July. The Polish striker has a rivalry with Shevchenko, having lost to her three times in Muay Thai competition.

When asked what’s next for Jedrzejczyk, and whether or not they’ll explore booking her against the Shevchenko-Eubanks winner, Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, “It’ll be up to her. We’ll see what Joanna wants to do. I have a great relationship with her. She’s a beast, too — been a long time world champion for us, and if she wants to do [that fight] we’ll do it.”

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