Two years after their memorable fight of the year, Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk met Saturday night at UFC 275 in Singapore.
Weili won flawlessly with K.-O. In the second round on a reverse punch Jedrzejczyk brutally sent to the ground.
“I was calm before this fight. It was a fight with myself, not against Joanna. When I’m honest with myself, I can beat anyone,” said Willy, who is hoping for her title against new strawweight champion Carla Esparza.
Jedrzejczyk, one of the best female fighters in history, announced her retirement with great emotion. She concluded her career with a 16-5 record, having dominated the division from 2015 to 2017 (five successful title defenses) by consistently stringing noteworthy performances that have contributed to the discipline’s success among women in the UFC.
“I love life, but I have to retire. Thank you for all the support I received. I will be 35 this year, I want to be a mother and a businesswoman.” “I have trained for 20 years, and have been in this profession for more than half my life”, said the former heroine, leaving her gloves in the middle of the octagon.
I’m proud of myself. I’ve been training hard for five months for this fight, every single day. That’s what people don’t always see. She surprised me with the kick back, and it still rings in my head. I knew it was going to be tough and she was going to throw a lot of punches, but I didn’t. I expect this level to be very intense.”
The two women started the show aggressively as expected. Willie did some damage by hitting her opponent with the kick because it kept the latter’s right leg lopsided against the net. Then the Chinese took the fight to the ground and Jedrzejczyk continued to make money. Both women rose to their feet briefly before returning to the carpet, and Willie flexed her physical strength as she took to the full riding position. Jedrzejczyk narrowly escaped but clearly outdid him in the first round despite some good straight streaks.
Known for her excellent cardio performance, Pole’s pace visibly slowed down in the second round while Weili was in great shape. This is where Willy gave the slam dunk.
Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought since her first confrontation in 2020 at UFC 248 and had already hinted that the end of her career was nearing before that duel.
Meanwhile Weili has been 1-2 (two losses to Rose Namajunas) since she won by separate decision on Jedrzejczyk.
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