Weight off her mind: UFC star Jedrzejczyk makes limit for Waterson fight – but what was behind rumors of weight-cut woes? (VIDEO)
The build-up to the pair’s fight in Tampa had been buffeted by claims that Poland’s Jedrzejczyk had told the UFC that she would not make the limit for the bout.
That led to a scrambling of scenarios over whether the pair could meet at catchweight, whether the fight would be postponed, or if others could step in.
But all of that was rendered redundant when Jedrzejczyk registered 115.5lbs on the scales on Friday morning, eliciting cheers from those in attendance.
‘Karate Hottie’ Waterson earlier came in at 115lbs, and with the main event locked down, that allowed UFC chief Dana White to vent at what he suggested were misleading claims it was ever in jeopardy in the first place.
“Don’t believe ANYTHING you read,” White tweeted as he shared footage of both fighters making weight.
Jedrzejczyk’s supposed weight-cut woes have been the source of much speculation among MMA fans in recent days.
Theories have ranged from whether she was merely playing mind games with her opponent, whether it was the UFC attempting to muster added interest in the card, or that the Polish fighter was in fact struggling, but found extra motivation to make the mark.
What if the UFC is making up Joanna Jedrzejczyk missing weight to draw headlines to the card?— UFCStats💭 (@TheUFCStats) October 9, 2019
I predict Joanna will weigh in at 116 or less.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk told me last week her best friend Karolina, who is fighting cancer, is flying in for UFC Tampa. She said Karolina is her “motivation.” It’s understandable why she’d want to do everything she can to stay on this card and fight.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) October 9, 2019
So I see two scenarios. 1. Joanna is playing master-level mind games with her opponent. 2. JJ informed UFC last week she was having trouble w/ her cut (which is the professional thing to do imo) and someone leaked it w/o her being involved. I'm thinking it's #2.— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) October 11, 2019
The Pole herself had appeared relaxed amid the furor, sending out an Instagram message to her 1.4 million followers that quoted a line from the new Joker movie, stating “You wouldn’t get it” along with various hashtags including #surprisesurprise.
She had also implored people to give her the "time and space" to make the limit, telling the media: “Every weight cut, your body show up different. Our bodies are clever beasts every like I said, every weight cut every time is totally different, different thing.”
With any supposed concerns behind her, former strawweight champion Jedrzejczyk can now focus on rehydrating ahead of her bout, which sees her step back down to the division after a tilt at flyweight ended in failure against Valentina Shevchenko in December.
Indeed, Jedrzejczyk, 32, may well see her bout against Waterson as a springboard to recapture former glories, having ruled over the division after capturing the title from Carla Esparza in March 2015 and going on to defend it five times.
That reign ended in a shock defeat to Rose Namajunas in November 2017, who also prevailed in a subsequent rematch. Jedrzejczyk has since beaten Tecia Torres but suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Shevchenko, putting her at 15-3 overall.
Waterson, by contrast, is on a three-fight win streak, last beating Poland’s Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision in March to improve the 33-year-old American’s nascent claims at a potential title shot.
And while victory on Saturday would be unlikely to earn either woman an immediate shot at the belt now around the waist of China’s Zhang Weili, it would at least keep them in the frame further down the line.
With the weight-cut rumors firmly in the background, we can at least concentrate on the fighting.