Early into 2020, Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk put on an instant classic in what many are touting as the fight of the year.
The co-main event of March’s UFC 248 pay-per-view saw the new strawweight champion from China defending opposite Poland’s former queen. For a full 25 minutes, they went to war.
Instantly after the bout’s conclusion, the community shared its collective satisfaction with what was just witnessed. And what that was was one of the finest displays of Mixed Martial Arts that the sport had ever seen.
Nearly a full year removed from the legendary collision and neither fighter has fought since. The reigning champion in Zhang has been waiting for an expected title defense against another former champion, Rose Namajunas. Meanwhile, Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been relaxing back in her home of Poland.
Due to how close the fight was along with its delivery of non-stop action, the possibility of seeing the fight ran back sooner rather than later appeared to be possible.
“Maybe she doesn’t want to face me,” Jedrzejczyk said to SCMP MMA in response to why she thinks the UFC didn’t book an instant rematch with Zhang. “She doesn’t want to fight me? But she beat me… so there are going to be people saying, ‘Oh, but you got beat up,’ but this fight was so close, man. If [I didn’t have the] hematoma, it could be different. But no, it’s okay.
“I will be more than happy to see Rose facing Weili Zhang. Maybe Rose will win this time. I’m staying patient.”
After starting her career out at a flawless 14-0 and defending her crown five straight times, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is now 2-4 in her last six. All four of those losses have been in UFC title fights, one of which coming at flyweight.
Generally very active as a competitor throughout her storied career, Poland’s finest has only fought once per year since 2018. She’s fought twice at a minimum in every other year that’s preceded.