Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang arrived in Singapore this week to some welcome news.
Shortly before the UFC 275 media day, promotion president Dana White publicly confirmed that the winner of Zhang’s rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk would be next in line for a shot at newly installed 115 pound champion Carla Esparza.
“This fight will definitely be [for] the number one contender, so I’m very excited for it,” Zhang said, giving her reaction during media day. “It’s great news. I’m very excited.”
Zhang and Jedrzejczyk fought in a five-round Fight of the Year in March of 2020 at UFC 248; that fight remains regarded as one of the best fights of all time, and arguably the best women’s MMA bout in the sport’s history.
The rematch comes under much different circumstances: Jedrzejczyk has not fought in the over two years since the pair’s first meeting. Zhang, who defended the title in the first fight, would go on to lose the belt to Rose Namajunas, and come up short in a rematch.
Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk 2 will also be contested over three rounds, not five. That has the Chinese former champ expecting something a bit different from her opponent.
“I think Joanna definitely will pick up the pace, because it’s a three round fight rather than a five round. I think she will pick up the pace [compared] to what she used to do, and she will definitely become more fearless,” Zhang said via her translator.
Weili Zhang plans to bring something different to the table as well, however. Having been working at Fight Ready alongside Henry Cejudo, she plans to show off her wrestling chops.
“Definitely I will use some wrestling in this match,” said Zhang. “I learned a lot from Henry, and if I don’t use it, that would be a waste.”
Watch the full UFC 275 media day appearance from Weili Zhang above. The event takes place this Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.