Agnieszka Niedzwiedz is one of the most decorated women flyweight fighters in MMA today. At only 21-years of age and holding a record of 9-0, with wins over the likes of Christine Stanley at Invicta FC 18 last July, and most recently Samara Santos at a regional event in Poland in December, Niedzwiedz has already managed to establish herself as a top contender in the women’s 125-pound division. “Kuma” is currently ranked as the No. 1 women’s flyweight fighter in Eastern Europe, Poland, United Kingdom and Ireland according to Tapology.com.
The young Polish grappler recently took some time off to speak with Pro MMA Now as she opened up about her personal life, her journey so far as an MMA fighter and her desire to fight champion Jennifer Maia for the Invicta FC flyweight belt.
What got you into MMA? Who was your influence and what is your combat sport background?
My background is judo. When I was 7-years-old my mom send me to judo training and then my adventure with sport started. In 2012 I had little break with judo, and then my brother said that maybe I should go with him to BJJ class. And I did ? After two maybe three trainings we get offer for a professional fight in MMA. I had just three weeks for preparation and I took a risk.
Did people around you support the decision of taking this sport as a career? Who would you like to credit for your success?
My family and friends support me in everything what I decide. On the beginning they were really surprised about this sport, but now it’s normal for everyone. I think that lot of people don’t believe that MMA can be way to life and earning money. I hope that when I go to UFC that thinking will change. It’s a lot of people who help my in my career. For the first place is my family, my son ? my boyfriend, my mom, my coaches, my sponsors.
What challenge have you faced in your journey and what is the most difficult part about being a fighter?
Right now the biggest challenge for me is reconcile being good mom and training. Raising a child is a full time work so it is really hard to also train and rest. Going to fight is a pure pleasure for me. I have a lot of time to rest and being only with myself.
Does being a mother affect your game or strength in any way? The way you have continued to chase your dream is praiseworthy. What is your message to women who stop working after marriage and child birth?
I think that in life we have to do what makes us happy and satisfied. Wen my son was born I was thinking that I wanna focus only on him and if I have to I will stop fighting and I will only be with him all the time. But after some time I understood that I have to go back to MMA because that makes me happy also, and when I’m doing that I’m a better mom because I’m fulfilled. For all women I can say that everything is possible. It’s not gonna be easy, it will be really really hard! But it’s worth that so don’t be scared and take a risk.
One of the most discussed topics today is fighter pay. What is your stand on the situation? What are your thoughts on a fighter union?
When you preparing to fight you can’t work because you don’t have time for that. You have to focus only on your preparations. You have to be on diet and eat healthy, you have to pay for your dietician, trainings, for some medical consultations, for apartment, bills. When you have kid you have to pay for his kindergarten, for nanny and all things what he needs. It’s really lot of money when you count everything together. We earn money only in our fights so when you look at what we earn and how much we have to spend for preparations you see that it is not a lot. Fight costs a lot of health and we can’t be fighters whole life. I hope that sport will develop and fighters will be earning more and more.
You’re known for finishing your opponents, out of nine victories you have finished seven opponents. What is your game plan while getting in the cage?
My game plan is really simple. Get my opponent to the ground and finish with my elbows.
UFC does not have a flyweight division. UFC president Dana White said that they might create one in the near future. Will you move up to the bantamweight division for a UFC shot? Why?
I’m too small for bantamweight and I can’t make weight for strawweight so I’m convicted for flyweight. Joanna Jędrzejczyk is a star in UFC and she said that she wants to fight in 125 pounds so I hope that UFC open this division this year.
You are known for engaging opponents in pre fight trash talk. In your fight at Invicta FC 18, you engaged into heated twitter war against your opponent Christine Stanley. Reason why you do so?
I’m not doing trash talk in my every fights. When my opponents say something bad to me I can’t leave that and be nice. It just happened like that. Polish people are really brawler so when someone say bad things about me I have that in my mind for real. Now popular is to do the trash talk before the fights because media want that. I’m not doing this to promote my fights. When I do it it’s for real. I refused to shook Stanley’s hand both pre and post fight.
You hold a perfect record of 9-0. Does it add pressure? What is the most difficult thing about holding a perfect record?
I don’t feel any pressure about my record. Judo taught me how to lose. In my judo carer I lost many times. I know how it is, so maybe because of that I’m not scared to lose in MMA. It’s sport and I know that in sport sometimes you win sometimes you loose. I go to the bout and I am on 100% so when it will be not enough I take it like a real professional fighter and move on.
Do you think that this record will get you a title shot at the Invicta FC flyweight belt? What are your thoughts on the champion Jennifer Maia?
When I go to Invicta FC in my mind from the beginning it was fighting for a belt. So I hope that I get a chance to fight with champion Jennifer Maia. I think that she is a really good fighter and tough opponent and it will be difficult fight for me. But I like new challenges and I want to fight with the best so I’m really happy about that.
What is your message for every person who wants to take MMA as a career?
Message for this people is simple, train hard, be patient. And good luck.
Thanks for your time,
Readers can follow Agnieszka on Twitter at @NiedzwiedzMMA