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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Segura and Mike Bohn

Joanna Jedrzejczyk wants to help manage fighters: ‘There’s so many rats that are trying to get a piece of them’

ABU DHABI – Joanna Jedrzejczyk retired from professional fighting, but she does not intend to leave the sport altogether.

The former UFC women’s strawweight champion wants to move into a management role in the future, as she feels there’s a much need to help fighters who are being taken advantage of by managers.

Jedrzejczyk describes these managers as “rats,” and she feels she can make a big difference given her knowledge as a former fighter.

“(I want to) Protect them because there’s so many rats that are trying to get a piece of them,” Jedrzejczyk told MMA Junkie. “I want to share my knowledge, you know? So many ups and downs in my fighting career and life in general, but I’m the person who learns from every situation in life.

“I just want to share this with the other fighters and, like I said, somehow protect them.”

Jedrzejczyk lists UFC lightweight Mateusz Gamrot, who competes this Saturday against Beneil Dariush at UFC 280, as a prime example of a gifted fighter who could’ve been taken advantage of by a manager.

“Before he got into the UFC, he was a two-weight class champion in KSW, and the managers – and I’m an honest person, were like, ‘Gamrot we got you a contract, we got you a contract. Just sign with us. You have to share 20, 30 percent of your fee, but we get you into the UFC.’

“Bullsh*t, because I was in touch with Sean Shelby and I was so thankful that they finally signed Mateusz Gamrot. I was like, ‘Mateusz, I know they promised you, and you really want to be in the UFC and you want to be the champion one day, but let’s keep it calm and easier. Let’s use the small spoon. And I’m telling you, you will be there without sharing a fee, and that’s a good thing.’

“Of course, Dan Lambert was responsible and he’s the main person who helps all of us American Top Team fighters, and he almost all, all of us. He helped Mateusz Gamrot get into the UFC. But that’s the way: I want to use my knowledge and my experience to let fighters – just to protect them and help them save as much as they can because tomorrow you can get injured, and you’re not going to be able to fight anymore. That’s the thing.”

Jedrzejczyk retired in June of this year after fighting for 10 years professionally. She remains the most dominant strawweight champion in UFC history, holding the record for most consecutive title defenses in the division with five.

Jedrzejczyk, who held the title from 2015 to 2017, has notable wins over Jessica Andrade, Michelle Waterson, Tecia Torres, Claudia Gadelha, and current champion Carla Esparza, among others.

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