Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk indicated she would welcome another shot at current champ Zhang Weili, with just one matter to be settled before an encore of one of the greatest fights in MMA history.
"It's all about the money," Jedrzejczyk told Ariel Helwani during a live appearance on the MMA on ESPN Instagram page on Tuesday.
Jedrzejczyk lost a brutal split decision to Zhang in the March 7 classic, which was the co-main event of UFC 248.
Jedrzejczyk (16-4) emphasized that she feels "very blessed" to fight for the UFC and said the promotion took especially good care of her in the aftermath of the Zhang fight, which ended with the 32-year-old Pole bruised and sporting a grotesque hematoma covering her entire forehead. "I looked like a zombie," she joked.
Jedrzejczyk said that although the hematoma swelling went away by the day after the fight, her vision was severely impaired for two days because of facial swelling around both eyes. "I was a little bit afraid," she said. "But I had a CT [scan]. I had an ultrasound. I had an X-ray. And everything is fine with my brain."
More than two weeks later, Jedrzejczyk still has bruises on her chest, neck and face, but there are no long-term injuries. "Broken heart and broken soul," she said, "but no broken bones. I'm tough. I'm tough. BMF."
The five rounds of back-and-forth brutality and high-level technique -- and the enthusiastic reaction to the fight from fans, media and other fighters -- left Jedrzejczyk thinking of the big picture.
"Me and Weili, we sent a strong message that women's MMA is worth more," Jedrzejczyk said. "It's all about the money, I'm not going to lie."
Whenever she fights again, Jedrzejczyk is hoping for one other thing: that the American Top Team she returns to is minus one teammate -- brash welterweight Colby Covington, who has feuded with fellow ATT fighters Jedrzejczyk, Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier.
Jedrzejczyk initially responded to a Helwani question by saying she didn't want to talk about Covington. "He needs the attention," she said, "because he has nothing to offer to the world. ... I feel bad for him, that he needs to jab at me and Jorgie, Dustin Poirier. He's such a liar."
She then offered a suggestion for the ATT gym owner. "Dan Lambert should kick him out," said Jedrzejczyk. "He's putting this place in shame. For me, the gym is like a mecca."
Covington recently apologized to Poirier and extended an olive branch to rekindle their friendship. He said he promised Lambert he would try to keep a civil gym after becoming a lightning rod because of public feuds with Poirier, Masvidal and Jedrzejczyk. Covington did not, however, try to mend things with his other two ATT teammates.