Joanna inspired for title bout: Sometimes 'the hero is right next to us'
Josh Hedges / UFC / Getty

In her quest to reclaim the strawweight title, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is pulling inspiration from a number of sources, including those closest to her.

"I always tell people that the biggest motivation is right next to you. It's your friend, colleague from your job," Jedrzejczyk told theScore. "That's the thing, we should keep our eyes very open. Sometimes we're looking for heroes but the hero is right next to us."

Jedrzejczyk (16-3) looks to reclaim the strawweight belt March 7 at UFC 248 when she squares off with champion Zhang Weili.

The 32-year-old Polish fighter also felt a boost earlier this month while attending a Lady Gaga concert.

"I just love Lady Gaga, how powerful she is," Jedrzejczyk said. "She did an amazing thing. People were throwing letters (on stage) and she picked one. She read it aloud (and) invited this girl, a teenager on stage. She was dealing with depression. They sang a song together and it was amazing. She's such a powerful woman and an amazing singer. People like her, they motivate me a lot."

Jedrzejczyk lost the 115-pound title at UFC 217 when Rose Namajunas knocked her out in the first round. The American Top Team standout then fell short in the rematch, losing by decision to Namajunas at UFC 223.

The self-proclaimed "Boogeywoman" is coming off two straight victories at strawweight - with a defeat to 125-pound queen Valentina Shevchenko sandwiched between.

Jedrzejczyk said a win at UFC 248 would be the most significant one of her career.

"This one victory, this one night on March 7 is going to be bigger than all my victories in the UFC or Muay Thai," she said. "Because there is a scar on my heart (losing the title). Even after the victory, this scar is going to be there, you know? But this is what keeps me going, this is what motivates me to (fight) for my dreams."

She added: "I actually did a great post this morning: 'It's not about having dreams, it's not about what you're willing to put in. It's about putting in actual work.' People think it's easy but it's not easy. Nothing comes for free but hard work pays off."

UFC 248 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defends his title against Yoel Romero in the main event.

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Joanna inspired for title bout: Sometimes 'the hero is right next to us'
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