Tonight at UFC 248, Joanna Jędrzejczyk aimed to reclaim the promotions strawweight championship against reigning title holder Weili Zhang.
The Polish star first tasted UFC championship victory in 2015 when she decimated the divisions inaugural champion Carla Esparza. She won the one-sided bout via TKO in the second round to claim the 115-pound crown. She defended her belt five consecutive times, defeating the likes of Jessica Penne, Jessica Andrade and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. However, her time was up in her sixth title defense, as opponent Rose Namajunas dismantled her with a first round TKO victory at UFC 217. This was the first time Joanna Jędrzejczyk had lost since joining the UFC, but not her last. She lost again to Namajunas by unanimous decision a few months later in their rematch. She also suffered a setback to current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision at UFC 231 in 2018. However, in her most recent effort, Joanna reeled off an impressive victory over Michelle Waterson.
Meanwhile, Zhang joined the UFC in 2018 and had a quick rise to success. She entered tonight’s bout with the strawweight belt that she claimed in her 42-second knockout over Jessica Andrade in August. That fight took place in her home-country of China and signified the first Chinese athlete to become a UFC champion. She also entered tonight’s bout with a 20-1 record and no losses since joining the organization.
Tonight’s Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Weili Zhang UFC 248 co-main event proved to one of the greatest fights in promotional history. It is already being touted as the greatest women’s MMA fight of all time.
Unfortunately for Joanna, after five rounds of thrilling action she wound up on the wrong end of a judges split decision.
Shortly following the conclusion of the five round war, Joanna Jędrzejczyk spoke to UFC commentator Joe Rogan where she delivered the following reaction to tonight’s tough loss.
“Yeah, you see my swollenness. I felt this.” Joanna said pointing to her forehead. “She did great. There was something missing, but I felt all the punches from the third round. The swollenness was bothering me. And I felt it just get more and more swollen. So my head was like going on and off. But all good. Congrats champ and I am very happy that we gave a good fight.”
Joanna Jędrzejczyk continued:
“Not really,” Joanna said when asked if she found anything surprising tonight. “I was ready for anything and everything. We both put on a hell of a performance. I am proud of myself and of my team.”
Who would you like to see Joanna Jędrzejczyk fight next following her split decision loss to Weili Zhang at UFC 248? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com March 8, 2020