Pros React to Zhang-Jedrzejczyk War at UFC 248

Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk UFC 248
Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Most fans expected a solid scrap between former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and title holder Zhang Weili at UFC 248. The co-main event of the Las Vegas card looked to be a thriller: Jedrzejczyk always delivers. Zhang’s rise to the top has been unprecedented.

What no one saw coming was what could rightfully be called the greatest women’s MMA fight of all time. Not just strawweight. No just in the UFC.

Realistically, Jedrzejczyk vs. Zhang was that good.

Both women landed, and landed often, from open to close. In all five rounds. Jedrzejczyk had the edge in volume. Zhang the advantage in power. The Polish challenger used stance changes while hunting for a head kick. She landed, or came close, several times. Zhang’s power shots, however, began to take their toll. A hematoma that seemed to surpass Mark Hominick’s began to form on Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s forehead. By the end of the fight, it appeared she was about to give birth out of her skull. Yet despite looking like Frankenstein’s monster’s little sister, she was still in the fight, firing to the end, landing a spinning backfist in the dying seconds of the fight.

Zhang was right there as well, and sometime in the fifth round, in a fight she was at risk of losing, she managed to find a second wind. The end result, a split decision victory for China’s Zhang.

Here’s how the pros saw it.


Lost in translation

More to come


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