It will take something significant to bring former strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk back to the Octagon, according to her coach Mike Brown.
Brown, Jedrzejczyk's head coach,and the head coach at American Top Team, commented on the Polish fighter's status when interviewed in Abu Dhabi in advance of UFC 257 on Saturday night.
“She’s been there, done that, done it all,” Brown commented (h/t MMA Junkie). “She was a UFC champion for many years and is maybe tied for most title fights – she’s up there for one of the most decorated female fighters of all time, and it’s gotta be something big to draw her in. She’s not gonna fight some small rinky-dink fight that doesn’t mean anything."
“I think it’s going to take something to excite her, something significant to get her off the couch and get her into the cage." Brown continued. "But she’s definitely willing and ready and eager and wanting that, but I don’t think at this point in her career she’s going to fight for peanuts or to prove herself. She has nothing to prove. She was a world champion for years, and it has to be something to excite her.”
Brown went on to express doubts that Jedrzejczyk would get the next opportunity to fight for the title, given the former champ's status, but he does still believes it's a possibility.
“I think she’s got a good shot at getting another title shot to be honest just because that fight was so close, she’s a draw, she’s charismatic, people want to see her fight, and I think that’s what she wants,” Brown said. “But I think for that to happen, we need things moving. I think she’s not next, I’m not sure who will be next, whether it’s Rose or whoever it is, but that needs to happen. We need the champion to be fighting, and then I think she’ll get her turn, but I think they want to give some other fights to Weili.”
Jedrzejczyk had previously expressed that it would take a raise, a title shot, and the return of fans before she would be motivated to return, and with fans returning at Fight Island this week, at least one of those hurdles has been cleared. The former strawweight champion hasn't fought since losing a fight of the year contender to current champion Weili Zhang in March of 2020.