Dana White Says Winner of UFC 275’s Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk 2 Next for Champ Esparza

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

Dana White has confirmed that yes, the winner of Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk 2 at this Saturday’s UFC 275 will be next in line for a title shot.

The strawweight rematch sees the former champions run back their March 2020 meeting at UFC 248, widely regarded as one of the best fights of all time, and arguably the greatest women’s MMA fight period.

Since that first meeting, Jedrzejczyk (16-4) has not competed, while Zhang (21-3) has lost back-to-back fights against another strawweight champ, Rose Namajunas. But when they meet again in Singapore this weekend, it will be in a de facto title eliminator.

Dana White confirmed the news to The Underground in a recent interview. “This would definitely be— whoever wins this will definitely fight Esparza for the title,” said White.

Jedrzejczyk remains the most successful strawweight champion in UFC history. Capturing the belt in 2015 at UFC 185 against none other than Carla Esparza, “Joanna Champion” successfully defended her title five times. She remains tied for most title fights among women in the UFC with 10, though Amanda Nunes will surpass that number later this summer.

Zhang claimed UFC gold care of an upset win against Jessica Andrade in 2019, becoming the first Chinese fighter to win a UFC championship. She defended the title once, in the first fight between her and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, before losing the belt to Rose Namajunas.

While other title contenders, including Marina Rodriguez, have begun to emerge at 115 pounds, it’s a matter of timing, according to White. “She’s right there,” White said regarding Rodriguez. “These things happen. Timing is everything.”

While there’s no time frame for Esparza’s return, White added that “I’m sure she’ll be watching this Saturday closely, and be ready to roll with whoever wins.”

UFC 275 takes place this Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Singapore.

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