According to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, her UFC Fight Night 161 headlining matchup with Michelle Waterson will proceed as planned this Saturday.
In a series of stories on her Instagram, the former strawweight queen addressed reports that claimed her struggles with the cut to 115 pounds had placed the bout in jeopardy.
“I don’t know what’s going on, the weigh-ins are tomorrow [Friday morning] and you’re all worried about,” Jedrzejczyk said. “The fight is on, the weighs-in are on Friday. Keep it calm, guys. All fine, step by step. I will see you there.
“Did I miss something? Did I miss the weigh-ins today or what? Because the weigh ins are on Friday, isn’t it?”
Earlier on Wednesday, ESPN reported that Jedrzejczyk told the UFC last week that should would not be able to make the strawweight limit of 116 pounds. The promotion then offered Waterson the fight at a catchweight, but the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter declined the offer.
According to the report, finding a replacement opponent for Waterson or canceling the fight altogether are both options that have been discussed. In the latter case, a featherweight clash between Cub Swanson and Kron Gracie would be elevated to the main event.
Meanwhile, Waterson informed MMAFighting.com that she is continuing her own weight cutting process and expects to compete at strawweight on Saturday night. If the bout proceeds as planned, the Jedrzejczyk-Waterson winner could be the next No. 1 contender for reigning 115-pound queen Weili Zhang.
“I know Joanna’s super professional, [and] she’s never not made weight before. My intention is to fight for the strawweight belt—not for the flyweight belt, not for the featherweight belt. The 115 belt.
“That being said, I’m here. I’m cutting weight. I’m ready to fight on Saturday. I honestly don’t know what’s going on with Joanna and her camp, and I’m staying focused. I’m letting my management team figure out the rest.”
Jedrzejczyk hasn’t competed since UFC 231 last December, when she lost a five-round decision to Valentina Shevchenko in a bid for flyweight gold. Her last strawweight appearance came in July 2018, when she outpointed Tecia Torres at UFC on Fox 30. If Jedrzejczyk were to miss weight and the fight still happens, the Polish athlete would forfeit 30 percent of her purse to Waterson.
UFC Fight Night 161 takes place at Amalie Center in Tampa, Fla. The card airs in its entirety on ESPN+.