Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk fought one of the greatest fights in UFC history on March 6, 2020, in Las Vegas at UFC 248. More than two years later, they met again on the main card of UFC 275 in Singapore and put on another card classic.
After the fast-paced first round in which Zhang’s wrestler dominated the fight, Zhang Jedrzejczyk grabbed a rear fist during a wave. Zhang’s forearm landed squarely on the side of Jedrzejczyk’s face and made a plant face.
Referee Mark Godard called it up on the spot at 2:28 of a second, giving Zhang the win and unleashing the next title on champion Carla Esparza. Jedrzejczyk, a former strawweight champion, took off her gloves and announced her retirement.
“She’s been a huge part of the growth of women’s MMA and it’s been amazing to be a part of this company,” UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports. “we will All We miss her!”
They came out fast in the first round and were shooting at each other. But unlike their first fight in which the fight was almost complete, Zhang took the fight to the ground.
She got to the mountain and was throwing her strong elbows at Jedrzejczyk but Jedrzejczyk, as she has shown throughout her career, kept fighting and didn’t quit.
They immediately got then back in a second. While they were in the midst of a wild exchange, Zhang missed a shot. When Jedrzejczyk was loaded to throw, Zhang spun and grabbed Jedrzejczyk by the side of the head to finish him off in spectacular fashion.
“I was very calm and relaxed about this,” Zhang, another former champion, said in the octagon after the win. “I knew I wasn’t fighting Joanna. I was fighting myself.”
This wasn’t a happy ending for Jedrzejczyk, who said she didn’t expect Zhang to be as fast or strong as she was.
Jedrzejczyk lost two in a row and three of four, and he, at around 35, said it was time to move on to something else.
“You guys are retired,” she said, resisting tears. “I love it so much. … DC, Dana, I am so sorry I let you guys down.”
“Typical food guru. Problem solver. Devoted beer practitioner. Professional reader. Baconaholic.”