Why Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Zhang Weili at UFC 248 will go down as one of the greatest fights ever


The stage was set for Israel Adesanya vs Yoel Romero at UFC 248 but it was the Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk fight that got everyone talking

Dana White was asked about the UFC 248 fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili ahead of the special, and the president claimed that this could be one of the fights of the year.

White highlighted that both women don’t back down and they don’t like each other. The pair had talked trash before meeting in the Octagon, and there was more than a rivalry at stake.

Yoel Romero vs Israel Adesanya UFC 248
Yoel Romero and Israel Adesanya didn’t set the UFC world alight with their fight (Credit: UFC)

Jedrzejczyk was trying to become the first woman to reclaim her title and had been close on several opportunities. The Pole is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC, and she is dangerous in the Octagon.

The Pole had claimed that she was putting in close to 13 training sessions per week before taking on the Chinese champion.

Zhang, for her part, was coming off a run of 20 straight MMA wins. That isn’t by luck or chance, the Chinese might not be the biggest name in the UFC yet, but she is no mug in the Octagon.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk UFC 248
Joanna Jedrzejczyk reacts in between rounds of her UFC women’s strawweight championship. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

Title fights are often crazy affairs, but this was completely off the charts.

An instant classic from the first minute

For all the bad blood, at least in the previews, the two touched gloves before the clash. Then it all went off.

Punches and kicks rained in from all angles. There was no half measures or feints or understanding the opponent, the women just went at it.

Weili Zhang punches Joanna Jedrzejczyk UFC 248
Weili Zhang punches Joanna Jedrzejczyk during her split decision win (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Joanna had some crazy punches, Zhang had some wild swings and most of them connected too. Over the course of five rounds, over 600 strikes were thrown and both women seemed set to win the clash at one point or another.

One nasty punch from Zhang saw Joanna’s forehead balloon to an incredible level. That kind of swelling on the head was just wrong, but the Pole kept on fighting.

Zhang, for her part, struggled a bit in the fourth and fifth rounds, as fatigue gave away. Joanna had been in title bouts in the past and as each minute went by, it seemed more likely that she would reclaim her Strawweight title.

Weili Zhang punches Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Joanna Jedrzejczyk at the end of her fight during a split decision loss to Weili Zhang in a strawweight title bout (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

However, the Chinese champion found her second wind and kept on going, to the raucous applause from the fans.

Mutual respect shines through

As the rounds went by, you could see that both stars were starting to understand just where this fight was heading towards.

During the fourth and fifth rounds, before and after, both fighters touched gloves and even hugged as the crowd appreciated what they were showing.

The commentators, fans and well, anyone watching this title bout just couldn’t believe what was going on. It was a miracle that both women were left standing after the brutal fight, and it didn’t matter in the end that Zhang kept hold of her title.

Zhang Weili Strawweight champion
Weili Zhang punches Joanna Jedrzejczyk to a split decision win at T-Mobile Arena (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Joanna could have won it on another night, it was that close in the end. The crowd probably won’t remember who won the clash but will certainly remember what a fight this was.

This wasn’t just the greatest fight in the history of the women’s Strawweight division in the UFC. This wasn’t just the greatest title fight in the history of women’s MMA.

What Joanna and Zhang did will go down as one of the greatest fights from any promotion ever. Adesanya vs Romero was a bust but the women made up for that, easily.

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