Joanna Jedrzejczyk agrees with UFC stripping Nicco Montano: We need real champions

MOSCOW – Joanna Jedrzejczyk sides with the UFC when it comes to the decision to strip Nicco Montano of the women’s flyweight title.

Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who was the promotion’s inaugural 125-pound champion, had her belt taken away last week when she was forced to withdraw from her scheduled UFC 228 co-main event against Valentina Shevchenko (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) on weigh-in day.

Only a handful of fighters in UFC history have been stripped of their belts. It’s often a last resort for the organization, but with the scenario involving Montano, Jedrzejczyk (15-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) said it was justified.

“I think it was fair,” Jedrzejczyk told MMAjunkie during a backstage scrum at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 136. “For me, it’s a shame. Us as fighters, athletes and champions to not be on weight. We need real and dedicated fighters and champions in the UFC. The UFC is the best organization in the world. There’s no space and time for (expletive) like this. It was a very hard decision, very tough decision. I believe that you must take this job very serious. You must be 100 percent in. Weight cuts are not easy, are not nice. But you must be on weight when you have to be.”

Jedrzejczyk said she can somewhat relate to Montano in the sense that she was nearly hospitalized and forced out of a fight on weigh-in day. The former UFC strawweight champ said she had a very difficult cut for her UFC 217 title defense against Rose Namajunas last November. Jedrzejczyk barely made the 115-pound limit for the fight but ultimately made it before losing her belt with a first-round knockout.

Doing a proper weight cut is major focus in Jedrzejczyk’s career. However, she might not have to endure it much longer. Jedrzejczyk could be moving up to flyweight to fight Shevchenko for the vacant belt, and apparently that could happen soon.

“I’ve got an offer, but we’ll see,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I’m very open to fight Valentina Shevchenko. You always want to fight the best fighters, and definitely she is one of the top female fighters in the world.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 136, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


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