By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran Photo by Jorden Curran Mixed Martial Arts competitor Joanna Jędrzejczyk, 30, will have the honour of carrying the Olympic flame for Poland during the torch relay heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The former UFC strawweight champion announced the news during a recent radio appearance. Reported by sportowefakty.wp.pl, Jędrzejczyk stated: “It’s a huge honor. The IOC decided that it was me, as a representative of mixed martial arts, who would take part in the relay race and run with the Olympic torch. MMA is far from being an Olympic discipline, so it is a great honor for me that I will be able to represent our country on such a huge international arena. That is why I am very happy about that.” Jędrzejczyk aka ‘Joanna Champion’, transitioned to MMA in 2012 with a prominent kickboxing background at the amateur and professional levels. In 2015 she clinched the UFC strawweight championship and reined for three years – completing five title defences and showcasing some of the most dominant performances ever seen under the UFC banner. At the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2017 General Assembly, IMMAF’s membership approved the commencement of negotiations with the World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) for a proposed merger. Both organisations have applied to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) for recognition as the global governing body for the sport of MMA. The resolution is a significant development in the pursuit of MMA reaching the Summer Olympic Games. During an interview with MMA Junkie, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown revealed in August that seeing MMA debut at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles is a target of IMMAF’s long term vision. The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place from 9 – 25 February.