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Jedrzejczyk: First days at ATT were ‘quite difficult’ with rival women

Joanna Jedrzejczyk, right, has her arm raised in victory by referee Mike Beltran after beating Juliana Lima by unanimous decision in a women's strawweight mixed martial arts bout at a UFC on Fox event in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk recently moved from her native Poland to Florida to take the next step in her growth in the sport, but joining the Coconut Creek crew at American Top Team was not a smooth transition with some of the UFC fighters already present.

“To be honest first days were… quite difficult,” Jedrzejczyk tolf  Przegladsportowy (English translation via FloCombat). “Girls weren’t amazed that I’m here. Valerie [Letourneau], Amanda Nunes, Nina Ansaroff, and Tecia Torres seemed to be saying to themselves ‘What is Jedrzejczyk doing here?’ Valerie I beat, Tecia dropped in rankings, Nina hasn’t fought for a long time… What are we even talking about? What kind of threat am I to them? What kind of threat are they to me?

“After a few days, one of them said ‘Joanna is a beast.’ I think they finally saw what it takes to get on top, to get that belt, and defend it. Jessica Aguilar stuck up for me and said ‘Girls, why are you gossiping about Joanna? Let’s train normally and just learn from the best in the world.’ They thought that I came there only for a while. And I think that I found a place to train at for the rest of my career.”

Jedrzejcyzk said the move was completely about her pro career and while she misses her family in Poland, she has to make sure he stays champion.

“This may sound selfish, but I had to think of myself,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I care about eating well, getting enough sleeping, and being ready to workout, because this will all matter on the day of the fight. I believe now I’ve found the right place, and I have arranged it all myself. When preparing for a fight, I must be selfish. I have to know that I will be able to cope physically and mentally.

“I feel like I’m on a mission now. I miss my loved ones from Olsztyn in Poland, but I have to do what’s best for me to make sure I win.”

Jedrzejcyzk is set to defend the title at UFC 205 against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

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