Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk put on a thrilling fight tied together by an emotional retirement. Jedrzejczyk announced she was stepping away from mixed martial arts after suffering a highlight-reel knockout loss to Zhang at UFC 275.
Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk is a recipe for thrilling violence, simple as that. Their first fight at UFC 248 ranks as one of the greatest fights in history regardless of gender.
Jedrzejczyk looked sharp on the feet in Round 1, dropping Zhang with a leg kick early. Zhang took complete control of the fight once she engaged in grappling, however.
Zhang wrapped up Jedrzejczyk against the fence and mauled her with strikes. The Chinese powerhouse scored multiple takedowns and punished Jedrzejczyk with ground-and-pound.
It looked momentarily like the referee might step in as Zhang reigned blows from full mount. Jedrzejczyk rejected the idea and scrambled to freedom.
Jedrzejczyk landed a big blow in the closing seconds, but Zhang caught a kick and dumped Jedrzejczyk to cap off the frenetic first five minutes.
Zhang (22-3) challenged UFC women's strawweight champion Carla Esparza to a title fight in neutral territory in Abu Dhabi.
Jedrzejczyk (16-5) also spoke with Cormier post-fight. The former strawweight champion confessed that her head was still ringing as she announced her retirement from the sport.
UFC president White previously stated that the winner of Zhang vs. Jedrzejczyk 2 will fight Esparza for the strawweight title. Jedrzejczyk retires as an acclaimed former champion.
She successfully defended her strawweight crown five times against Jessica Andrade, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Claudia Gadehla, among others.