It’s almost time for Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk to lock horns again as they are set to meet next weekend (Saturday June 11, 2022) at UFC 275 in Singapore.
It’s been two years since fans witnessed one of the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) contests of all time. Fighting for the UFC Strawweight title at UFC 248, then-champion Zhang walked away as the winner by unanimous decision on that fateful night (watch highlights).
Meanwhile, China’s Zhang remained active while Jedrzejczyk sat on the sidelines. “Magnum” lost their title in their next outing to Rose Namajunas (Watch Highlights) before battling it out to a hard-fought split decision loss in their rematch (Watch Highlights). Having also suffered two straight losses to Namajunas, Jedrzejczyk revealed that prior to this second fight against Zhang, Namajunas had offered to help her former champion in preparation.
“Well, if I’m Rose, I wouldn’t do something like that,” Zhang said in a recent interview with Chinese media (h/t zhangweili_xiaopang). “Because Joanna has her own team. ATT (American Top Team) is a very professional elite team. They’ve produced many champions and you’re going to interfere at this point, it’s a bit. …I don’t know what she’s trying to do.
“Does she think Joanna’s team isn’t good enough or what? ” she added. “I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t do that in his place.
As for Namajunas, her last outing came in another rematch, looking to score redemption against Carla Esparza at UFC 274 earlier this month (May 7, 2022). Instead, Esparza saw his hand raised for the second time after taking on Namajunas (watch highlights), reclaiming the title for the first time since early 2015.
With UFC 275 just around the corner, the belief is that Zhang’s winner against Jedrzejczyk 2 could be next in line for Esparza. If it ends up being Zhang, she hopes to fight for the crown before 2023.
“I think this rematch will be entertaining for sure,” Zhang said. “Because this rematch will determine the title shot. And of course we both want the title shot. So we’re going to leave everything in the cage for this fight. I think we’ve prepared everything. Long range, short throw, BJJ, stand-up, everything. We prepare for everything. Because in the cage, less mistakes means more chances to win.