Weili vs Jedrzejczyk II has much to live up to after epic first fight
Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk delivered a STAGGERING 351 significant strikes and had Dana White ‘like a giddy little girl’ in epic first fight… the UFC 275 grudge match has plenty to live up to in Singapore
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili put on the best fight in women MMA history
- Chinese fighter Zhang beat her Polish foe back in 2020 after five brilliant rounds
- Jedrzejczyk was swollen out of shape and the pair go at it again this weekend
- Here’s a look back at their first encounter and what made it so special
If this Saturday’s rematch between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk mirrors even half of their epic first battle, it will be worth the pay-per-view fee alone.
Two years ago at UFC 248, they put on what many regard to be the greatest fight in women’s MMA history.
Five rounds of relentless brutality that made a mockery of Dana White’s now-changed opinion that there was no place for female fighters in the UFC.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk sustained some brutal facial injuries after her first fight with Zhang Weili
The Pole lost on a split decision to her Chinese opponent Zhang at UFC 248 in Las Vegas
UFC boss Dana White said it was the best women’s fight he has ever seen
The UFC president was among those enraptured by Weili and Jedrzejczyk that night in Las Vegas.
At the time, he summed up the same feeling almost every fan experienced in watching the strawweights leave it all in the octagon.
He said: ‘I knew that that fight was gonna be ridiculous. You have these two incredibly talented savages who wanted that belt more than anything.
‘I didn’t know if there was gonna be a knockout or a submission or something like that, but I was begging people to watch that fight [laughs].
‘You know me, man, when I sell fights I don’t beg anybody to watch anything, I was literally begging people to watch this fight. And it was, it was incredible.’
Judges Michael Bell and Derek Cleary scored the fight 48-47 in favour of Zhang, while Eric Colon had it 48-47 for Jedrzejczyk.
It divided opinion and many believed the call was incorrect but White cared little.
‘I was so into that fight I didn’t really score,’ he added said. ‘Me and (Robert) Downey Jr. were like giddy little girls getting ready for that fight.
‘I think we were both feeling like it was even going into the fifth round, but I honestly couldn’t tell you. I really didn’t score, I was caught up in it.
‘It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. Right here, off the top of my head, I would have to say yes, best women’s fight I’ve ever seen, one of the best fights I’ve ever seen.’
The statistics were extraordinary too and helped illustrate just how hard both women pushed.
Zhang and Jedrzejczyk combined for 351 significant strikes — the third-most ever in a UFC fight (Max Holloway and Brian Ortega combined for 400 to top that list).
Both women went to hospital afterwards and are set for the rematch this weekend at UFC 275
If the old adage that styles make fights holds true we should see similar thrills and spills
They also notched up 96 head strikes apiece and 58 leg strikes each; Jedrzejczyk rocked the body for 32 strikes compared to Zhang’s 10.
Knees, elbows, kicks and punches, it had it all and with both women battered heading into the fifth round, the 15,077 spectators rose for a standing ovation and then again in the final 10 seconds of the bout.
It was the extraordinary hematoma on Jedrzejczyk’s head that made headlines afterwards and the swelling was so extreme that she looked disfigured.
Both women went to hospital afterwards and acted with absolute class on the mic.
‘I wasn’t really sure what the scorecards would say, but I got it. It was a great performance,’ Zhang said through her translator after the fight.
‘We are all martial artists here. We want to set an example for the kids. Thank you everyone,’ she added.
Jedrzejczyk believes she has learned the lessons of the first fight and will correct mistakes
Jedrzejczyk stated: ‘She did great. There was something missing, but I felt all the punches. The swelling was bothering me. Congrats champ, and I’m very happy that we gave a good fight.’
If the old adage that styles make fights holds true, UFC 275 should see similar thrills and spills on Saturday.
Jedrzejczyk claims she has learned from the mistakes of the 2020 fight and has allowed her body and mind to heal during two years off.
Battle-hardened Weili dropped two fights against Rose Namajunas in the meantime so she’ll be equally desperate for a return to winning ways.
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