Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk had one of the greatest fights in UFC history on March 6, 2020 in Las Vegas at UFC 248. More than two years later, they found themselves on the main card of UFC 275 in Singapore and put on another classic.
After a fast first round in which Zhang’s wrestling controlled the battle, Zhang caught Jedrzejczyk with a spinning back fist during a flurry. Zhang’s forearm landed squarely on the side of Jedrzejczyk’s face and she did a facial plant.
Referee Marc Godard immediately called it off at 2:28 of the second, giving Zhang the win and the next title to champion Carla Esparza. Jedrzejczyk, a former strawweight champion, has taken off her gloves and announced her retirement.
“She’s been such a huge part of the growth of women’s MMA and it was amazing to have her be a part of this company,” UFC President Dana White told Yahoo Sports. “We will do it everything I miss her!”
They came out fast in the first round and were shooting at each other. But unlike their first fight in which it was almost entirely stand up fighting, Zhang took the fight to the ground.
She rode up and dropped power elbows on Jedrzejczyk but Jedrzejczyk, as she had shown throughout her career, kept fighting and didn’t give up.
They immediately took it back in the second. As they were in the middle of a wild exchange, Zhang missed a shot. As Jedrzejczyk took charge of the throw, Zhang spun around and grabbed Jedrzejczyk on the side of the head to finish him off in stunning fashion.
“I was very, very calm and relaxed for it,” Zhang, another former champion, said in the Octagon after the win. “I knew I wasn’t fighting Joanna. I was fighting myself.
It wasn’t a happy ending for Jedrzejczyk, who said she didn’t expect Zhang to be as quick or as strong as her.
Jedrzejczyk has lost two in a row and three of four and, at nearly 35, said it was time to move on.
“I’m retired, guys,” she said, holding back tears. “I love her so much. …DC, Dana, I’m so sorry I let you down.