Two years after their memorable fight of the year, Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk met at UFC 275 in Singapore on Saturday night.
Weili won flawlessly with a knockout. in the second round to a reverse punch that brutally sent Jedrzejczyk to the ground.
“I was calm before this fight. It was a fight with myself, not against Joanna. If I stay true to myself, I can beat anyone,” said Weili, who is hoping for her title fight against the new strawweight world champion, Carla Esparza.
Jedrzejczyk, one of the best fighters in history, announced her retirement with great emotion. She finishes her career with a 16-5 record after dominating the division from 2015-2017 (five successful title defenses) by consistently delivering notable performances that contributed to the discipline’s success among women in the UFC.
“I love life, but I need to retire. Thank you for all the support I have received. I will be 35 this year, I want to be a mother and a business woman. I’ve been training for 20 years, I’ve practiced this profession for more than half my life,” said the former champion, leaving her gloves in the center of the octagon.
” I’m proud of myself. I trained very hard every day for this fight for five months. That’s what I don’t always see people seeing. She surprised me with the reverse shot that still resonates in my head. I knew that it was going to be tough and she was going to throw a lot of punches, but I didn’t expect this level to be so intense,” she added, visibly shaken.
As expected, the two women started the show strong. Weili did some damage by hitting her kick rival as she unbalanced his right leg against the bars. The Chinese then went down and Jedrzejczyk continued to concede. Both women stood briefly before returning to the mat. Weili showed her physical strength as she took the fully mounted position. Jedrzejczyk narrowly escaped, but was clearly outclassed despite some good straights in the first round.
Recognized for her excellent cardio, the Pole visibly slowed down in the second round while Weili was in excellent form. Here Weili delivered the KO blow.
Jedrzejczyk had not fought since their first duel in 2020 at UFC 248 and she had hinted before that duel that her career was about to end.
Weili is now 1-2 (two losses to Rose Namajunas) since her split decision win over Jedrzejczyk.