Weili Zhang is gearing up to defend her UFC strawweight title against the former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 this March. While Zhang’s camp for Jedrzejczyk is just getting underway, she says this a fight she’s been preparing for for years.
“I have known about Joanna for a very long time, even before I was in the UFC,” Zhang told Mathew Scott of the South China Morning Post. “I have been preparing for her, and for this fight, for a long time. I know how she moves and how she fights. I always knew that one day we would meet inside the Octagon. I am preparing everything. I am ready.”
Jedrzejczyk is arguably the best striker in the strawweight division, and she backs that skillset up with solid grappling. Needless to say, Zhang has a tough test on her hands. Yet the champion feels ready, regardless where the fight unfolds.
“I have been training for speed and for power, working on my footwork,” said Zhang, who is finally settled back in her home city of Beijing after a world tour with her new UFC belt. “I am going to fight Joanna in Joanna’s way. No matter if it is wrestling or striking I am ready. Just like my fight in Shenzhen I will be ready for different situations.”
Weili Zhang won the UFC strawweight title at UFC Shenzhen this past summer, when she walloped the former champion Jessica Andrade to a dominant first-round TKO. Just like that, she was the first Chinese champion in UFC history.
Jedrzejczyk, on the other hand, is riding high after a dominant decision victory over respected veteran Michelle Waterson in the main event of the recent UFC Tampa card.
Who do you think will come out on top when Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk collide at UFC 248?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/23/2019.