Joanna Jedrzejczyk is big on legacy.
Prior to her last fight against Rose Namajunas in November 2017, Jedrzejczyk had spoken honestly about her goal to tie Ronda Rousey's record for the most title defenses in the history of the women's divisions in the UFC and then she was eyeing a move to 125 pounds to try and win another title.
In fact, Jedrzejczyk says that if she had beaten Namajunas last year, she would already be at flyweight with designs on capturing that title in her next fight.
“If I won the fight with Rose Namajunas, I was planning to move up because your body's changing,” Jedrzejczyk said about going to flyweight when speaking to MMAWeekly. “It's not that I'm eating too much. I eat very clean. I eat very healthy but your body's changing. You're getting older, your body's changing.
“It was my plan to move up but right now I must and I will get what belongs to me.”
Unfortunately, things didn't go Jedrzejczyk's way after she suffered through a brutal weight cut to get down to the strawweight limit and she was then toppled by Namajunas by first round TKO.
There's no doubt it was a particularly bitter pill to swallow considering Namajunas wanted to retire from the UFC with an undefeated record and two titles wrapped around her waist.
Now at least one of those goals is unattainable but Jedrzejczyk is determined to right the other wrong when she steps back into the cage with Namajunas on Saturday night at UFC 223.
For all her accomplishments and accolades earned over the years, Jedrzejczyk knows that her legacy will now be defined by what she does in the rematch with Namajunas.
A win shows that Jedrzejczyk is back on top of the world as the best strawweight in the sport and while she'll never be able to erase the memories of the first fight, at least she'll be able to know that she avenged her only defeat.
A loss…well Jedrzejczyk refuses to even contemplate it because in her mind, that is not an option.
“What I can say is it's going to be bigger than my whole fight career. Only one night. Only one fight. It's going to be bigger than 14 years of my fighting career. Mark my words,” Jedrzejczyk said.
“I'm very confident. I just need to be patient and the queen is back.”
As far as what comes next after this fight, Jedrzejczyk views her rematch with Namajunas as the only night left in her career. Of course, Jedrzejczyk plans to keep fighting after Saturday night but until she's able to get her title back and avenge that loss to Namajunas, nothing else matters to her.
“Right now there is nothing more important than this camp,” Jedrzejczyk said. “That is what I am focused on.”