MELBOURNE, Australia -- Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is planning a return to the 115-pound division in the second half of 2019.
Jedrzejczyk (15-3) told reporters on Wednesday she is enjoying time off, following a failed 125-pound flyweight title bid against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 231 in December. She declined an offer to return to the Octagon in March, but wants to come back late in the summer -- perhaps August. And she will do so at 115 pounds.
"I will go down to 115 pounds," Jedrzejczyk said. "I need time to refresh my body, refresh my mind -- but I feel the fire."
Jedrzejczyk, of Poland, said she was happy to take advantage of the opportunity to fight Shevchenko (16-3) late last year, but always planned to move back down. The 31-year-old ruled the UFC's strawweight division from 2014 to 2017, when she lost back-to-back title fights against current champion Rose Namajunas.
"I'm very happy I could fight Valentina Shevchenko," Jedrzejczyk said. "I didn't feel the power of her punches, but I definitely felt her clinch. That's the thing. The fight with Valentina went on and off and I didn't have time to prepare physically for this fight. In the clinch, she was super strong.
"Definitely, if I want to compete in 125, I need to put on muscle and build power, but I couldn't do that before that fight with Valentina Shevchenko because I [was still] planning to go to 115. It was a difficult decision and a difficult fight. My next move is 115."
Namajunas (8-3) is scheduled to defend her title against Jessica Andrade (19-6) at UFC 237 on May 10 in Brazil. Jedrzejczyk said she would "99.9 percent" attend that fight. It will mark only Namajunas' second title defense since winning the title in late 2017.
Considering she has two losses to Namajunas, and one win over Andrade, previously, one would expect Jedrzejczyk to hope for an Andrade victory. She stopped short of predicting as much, however, on Wednesday.
"I was getting mad at Rose," Jedrzejczyk said. "Of course, she's the champion, but I was a busy champion. You cannot wait. You must defend your belt once a year. I'm very happy this fight is happening. I definitely want to go to Brazil and watch this fight live.
"It's not like I want to fight Rose or Jessica more. Jessica has been doing very good. There is not a girl that has beat her in her last few fights. We will see. Someone can look better on paper or in the rankings, but for me it's always 50-50. It's going to be a very interesting fight. Rose must be very clever. I think my fight with Jessica Andrade was one of my best fights ever, and it would be great to see her again."