Weili Zhang will be looking to score her first successful title defense when she squares off with former strawweight Queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248.
Zhang (20-1 MMA) captured the promotions 115lbs title this past summer, when she needed less than a minute to dispose of former title holder Jessica Andrade.
Meanwhile, Jedrzejczyk (16-3 MMA) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Michelle Waterson in her most recent effort. That victory got the Polish star back in to the win column, as she had previously been defeated by Valentina Shevchenko in a fight for the promotions flyweight title.
Round one of the UFC 248 co-main event begins and Jedrzejczyk and Zhang both miss with early low kick attempts. Now both connect with hard low kicks. Joanna with a nice right hand over the top. Weili Zhang with a good low kick. Joanna answers with a hard right hand. She takes the center of the Octagon and lands another right. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is looking confident early. She lands a low kick. A good combination from the former champion. She lands a low kick. Weili answers with a flurry. The champion connects with a hard low kick and then another. Joanna comes in with a left hand and then a kick to the body. Weili Zhang with a nice straight right up the middle. Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a hard low kick. Weili answers with one of her own followed by a hard right. She has Joanna backing up now. The Polish star misses with a front kick and Zhang connects with another right. These are powerful shots from Weili Zhang. Joanna lands a low kick but eats another counter right. She goes to the body with a jab. Weili continues to press the action. She lands a big kick to the body of Jedrzejczyk. Good shots from both ladies in these final exchanges of the round. Joanna with a good right. Weili answers with one of her own. The horn sounds and Jedrzejczyk throws another shot. The referee steps in and Zhang is not happy.
Round two of the UFC 248 co-main event begins and Joanna Jedrzejczyk comes forward early. She lands a nice right hand that appears to stun the champ. Joanna goes low with leg kicks. She continues to pressure early. She lands a snapping outside low kick. Joanna is searching for that right hand. Zhang paws with her jab but Jedrzejczyk counters with a low kick. A good left connects for the champ. She shoots for a takedown but Joanna defends it beautifully. She pushes Zhang against the cage and lands a knee. Another knee from Joanna. Weili continues to search for a takedown. Joanna is still defending very well. She lands a flurry of knees. Weili Zhang responds with elbows and finally they break. Zhang with a low kick and then a right hand. She tags Joanna with another right and then a side kick. Jedrzejczyk comes forward but Zhang lands a trip takedown. Joanna immediately scrambles to her feet. Ninety seconds remain. Joanna with a good jab. Weili continues to batter the former champs front leg with low kicks. Jedrzejczyk with a body kick but then eats a jab. Weili tags her with another low kick. Joanna fires right back and then lands a front kick. She rushes in and the fighters battle against the cage as the horn sounds to end round two.
— UFC (@ufc) March 8, 2020
Round three of the UFC 248 co-main event begins and Joanna Jedrzejczyk comes forward early but eats a hard right hand for her efforts. Weili Zhang with a powerful low kick. Joanna with a nice left hand. Weili just misses with a wild overhand right. The pace of these ladies is unbelievable. Joanna with a body kick and then a right hand. That stung the champion. She lands a body kick and then another right hand. Another right for the former strawweight queen. Zhang is still bouncing but she eats another low kick. Weili with a good counter right hand. Joanna fires back with a short left that lands flush. Weili Zhang with a low kick but Joanna responds with a high kick followed by a front kick to the body. Both ladies are wearing it now. Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a low kick. Weili shoots in for a takedown. She doesn’t get it but presses Joanna against the cage. She trips Joanna to the floor but the former champ is right back up. She breaks free from the cage and they trade low kicks. Zhang with a good kick to the body followed by a right hand. Jedrzejczyk returns fire with a right hand followed by a body kick. Weili with a left hook. Joanna goes back to low kicks. She lands a nice left hand. Weili with a right. Joanna goes to the body with a kick. They clinch against the cage. The horn sounds to end round three.
Round four of the UFC 248 co-main event begins and Weili Zhang goes to the body with a heavy kick. The ladies begin to stand and trade in the center of the cage. Big shots from both ladies. Joanna with a left. Weili with a hard body shot. They exchange jabs and Joanna lands a left hook. They clinch and Joanna Jedrzejczyk connects with a big knee. Zhang with a right hand now. Joanna has a huge lump on her forehead. Joanna with a low kick. She lands a crisp combination. Zhang misses with a low kick and Joanna partially lands a high kick. Both women with big shots in the pocket. Joanna appears to be the fresher fighter. Zhang tags her with a left hook. Joanna answers but then eats a right hand. These are huge shots. How has nobody gone down? Weili with a low kick. Joanna answers with a massive elbow. She presses Weili Zhang against the cage and lands a knee. The Chinese champion switches the position and lands a knee of her own. Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a big elbow on the break. She lands a left hand followed by a body kick. Zhang misses with a jab. Joanna with a hard left hand. Ten seconds left. Joanna just misses with a high kick. The horn sounds to end round four.
— UFC (@ufc) March 8, 2020
The fifth and final round of the UFC 248 co-main event begins and both women begin the round by exchanging heavy leather. Joanna misses with a wild combination. She lands a low kick. Zhang with a jab. She just misses with a right. Joanna with a low kick and then a right hand behind it. Both women connect with hooks in the pocket. That may have broken Joanna’s nose. She is circling away now. Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a jab but Weili Zhang answers with a pair of lefts. Joanna with a right hand now. Her nose definitely looks busted. She connects with a left hooka nd then another. Weili Zhang charges forward with a flurry. Joanna answers with a right hand. These ladies are absolute warriors. Weili lands a left and forces the clinch. Joanna switches the position and lands a knee. The fighters break and Weili comes forward with a jab. Ninety seconds remain. Zhang with a nice right. She lands a hard low kick. Joanna fires back with one of her own. She catches a Weili kick but eats a right hand for her effort. The fighters break and Joanna comes forward with a low kick. Weili lands one of her own and then Joanna lands another. Weili misses with a right. So does Joanna. Spinning back fist from the champ misses the mark. Joanna connects with a spinning back fist. Unreal. The horn sounds to come to an end.
Official UFC 248 Result: Weili Zhang def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via split decision
Who would you like to see Weili Zhang fight next following her split decision victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk this evening in Las Vegas? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com March 7, 2020