Joanna Jedrzejczyk: Zhang Weili is ‘not the same’ after epic first fight

UFC 248 in March 2020 hosted one of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fights of all time. This Saturday night (June 11, 2022) at UFC 275 in Singapore, fans will get to see it run back.

Then-Strawweight queenpin out of China, Zhang Weili, went to war with the division’s all-time best and former long-time reigning champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. After a grueling five rounds that saw the record set for most significant strikes landed in a female fight, Zhang walked away “and still” via split decision (watch highlights). Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought since.

In the meantime, “Magnum” has dropped her title, suffering two setbacks to Rose Namajunas. changing up her training camp throughout the series.

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HISTORY IN THE MAKING! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will stage its first-ever numbered pay-per-view (PPV) event in Southeast Asia with “Teixeira vs. Prochazka” from inside Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, on Sat., June 11, 2022. In UFC 275’s PPV main event, Light Heavyweight champion, Glover Teixeira, will lock horns with No. 2-ranked berserker, Jiri Prochazka, while women’s Flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, tangles with No. 5-seeded Taila Santos in the co-feature. And, of course, Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Zhang Weili will run back their epic 2020 “Fight of the Year,” with the winner likely earning a future Strawweight title shot against division queenpin, Carla Esparza.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“I don’t know. I think that she’s not the same after our first fight,” Jedrzejczyk told MMA Junkie when asked her thoughts on Zhang’s changeups since their first fight. “Of course, I lost but she’s not the same but she’s still one of the most dangerous in the division and it’s going to be a hell of a fight.

“I don’t know why she’s changing camps,” she added. “Ah, also because of the restrictions in China we can’t put the blame on her. I’m very happy that she’s here, I’m here, in a few days we’re going to step into the Octagon because I know how hard it is for her — for Chinese people — to travel, leave the country [right now].”

Going into Zhang’s instant rematch with Namajunas in November 2021, she trained at Fight Ready in Scottsdale, Arizona, as opposed to her usual gym, Black Tiger MMA in her home of Beijing. Aside from wanting to hone her skills in new areas, Zhang was also affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

For the Jedrzejczyk rematch, Zhang has done a portion of her camp in Thailand at Bangtao Muay Thai.

“It’s not Weili’s fault,” Jedrzejczyk said. “It must be difficult for her to change this all the time but I believe she has people who have been with her for a longer time that she doesn’t have to worry about changing teams, camps, people all the time and she doesn’t know what to do. She’s ready, I know she’s ready.

“It’s going to be a medical procedure,” she concluded. “I’m going to be the best surgeon and I will pick the right tools and use them at the right time. Sharp.”

Despite each fighter coming off losses, UFC President Dana White stated Tuesday (June 7, 2022) when speaking to The Underground that the winner of this rematch will “definitely” be next in line to face the champion, Carla Esparza.


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Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 275 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 275: “Teixeira vs. Prochazka” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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