MMA careers are tricky things, and more particularly, ending an MMA career is a tricky thing. The list of fighters who have said that they’ll “hang up the gloves early,” or that they’ll “know when it’s time,” is a lot longer than the list of fighters who actually walk away in the prime of their careers. For every Georges St. Pierre or Forrest Griffin there are a litany of athletes closing in on their 40s who just can’t seem to call it quits.
And while it remains to be seen whether or not Joanna Jedrzejczyk will be among those few who really do walk away near their prime, in a recent interview with MMA Junkie, she’s made it clear that that’s her intention.
“I had the thought in my head a year ago, two years ago I was like, ‘I want to fight two more years,’ and then this year I was like, ‘Maybe I’ll fight to next year or next few years and be done with that,’” Jedrzejczyk told MMAjunkie. “I like to be healthy person. I like to be focused on my things. Now I’m trying to be the best athlete ever. I left my family, my fiance, my friends. I left my everything in Poland, but I’m trying to be the best in the world, and I’m proving that every single day for myself. There are no excuses.
“When (I retire) I’m going to be the perfect wife or perfect mother. I want to be the same, (giving) 100 percent,” she continued. ” I know I’m not retiring in two months or beginning of the next year because then I will want to come back and have a fight with someone who is important. My goal is to make my dreams come true, my goals come true, and be undefeated. Fight for the next few fights and then see what’s going to happen. That’s my goal.”
While it seems that plans for a family life and motherhood may be one of the key drivers for Jedrzejczyk’s early exit, she also cited the physical toll weight cutting has taken on her in the past. She even went so far as to suggest it may have been behind her breaking her hand in early UFC bouts.
It sounds like she’s got the weight cut fixed, however, and is now focused on finishing her career undefeated. How much longer that career goes, remains an open question:
“It’s going to be difficult to retire undefeated because MMA is a difficult sport,” Jedrzejczyk said. “But every fight someone must win, and someone must lose the fight. I’m trying to be focused, calm, humble. I’m trying to be hard on myself, challenge myself and learn new stuff every day. I want to make my dreams into a life.”