In this co-main event, the first Chinese champion in UFC history Weili Zhang makes her first title defence against former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk .
Strawweight champion Zhang (20-1) picked up the title last time out beating Jessica Andrade inside one minute at UFC Fight Night 157 in Shenzhen, China.
Former long-time 115lb champion Jędrzejczyk will be looking to regain the title she lost against Rose Namajunas in 2017. The 32-year-ol Polish fighter earned a shot at the title by dominating Michelle Waterson over five rounds in October 2019.
Round 1: Lot’s of movement and feints from both fighters in the opening minute. Joanna Jędrzejczyk lands the first meaningful punch of the fight with a hard right straight down the middle. The Polish fighter lands a one of her famous flurries ending with a beautiful low kick. Weili Zhang growing into the fight landing two hard right hands that got her opponents attention. She seems to have got her timing down and is tagging Joanna more often now.
Zhang going after it now with reckless abandon and complete confidence in her punching power and ability to take a shot. The clapper signals the final 10 seconds and both fighters begin to thrown down. The bells sounds and Jędrzejczyk throws a shot after the bell before immediately apologizing.
Round 2: The fighters go straight back after it in round two. Both are standing in punching range and unload shots. Jędrzejczyk is getting the better of it but Zhang has that scary power which is always a threat. The Chinese champion shoots in for the first takedown of the fight. Joanna fends it off and lands a few knees before being back onto the fence – Zhang continues to pursue the takedown. On the break Zhang lands beautiful elbows, Jędrzejczyk land beautiful knees. The champion lands a HUGE right hand which has Jędrzejczyk shook and backing up. Zhang momentarily drags the fight to the floor but they quickly take it back to the feet. Joanna is probing with body kicks, Zhang is trying to counter with power straights but not many are landing. Jędrzejczyk lands a huge front kick and rushes in for the finishes, clashing heads on the way in. The rounds ends.
Round 3: Straight back to the middle, straight back to throwing bombs! Zhang connect with a huge left hook lifting the head of her opponent. Jędrzejczyk switches to southpaw and lands the straight back hand. Zhang is started to look abit batter and tied now. Jędrzejczyk is turning it on. The champion presses the action to the cage and pursues the takedown, twice securing it but her opponent pops back up each time and eventually returns to the centre. Jędrzejczyk has a very visible hematoma on her forehead caused by the Zhang right hand – but she isn’t bothered at all. Jędrzejczyk ends the round strong throwing more big strikes and backing up the champ.
Round 4: No sign of this fight slowing down. They stand right in the centre and exchange bombs. Jędrzejczyk lands. Zhang lands. The champion lands a huge punch but it doesn’t seem to bother Joanna who grabs the back of her opponents head and lands big knees. Jędrzejczyk is beginning to take over half way through round four – this is the first time Zhang has seen the championship rounds. A very brief lull in the action ends with Jędrzejczyk landing big and the champion landing even bigger! HUGE elbow from Jędrzejczyk – Zhang has an unbelievable chin! Joanna ducks under and lands a nice hook before backing up until the rounds ends. WOW – this is undoubtedly the best strawweight fight in UFC history.
Round 5: The fighters embrace at the start of round five! Lots of big misses in the first minute. Both fighters looking visibly tired now. Zhang land a huge left hook and appears to have broke the nose of Jędrzejczyk. Another hook lands for the champion who is getting her second wind now. Just as I say that Jędrzejczyk land backs to back lefts hurting Zhang who firs back with vengeance. Jędrzejczyk clinches and works on the fence before landing an elbow on the break. The champion continues to come forward but Jędrzejczyk is still landing on the back foot. Zhang with another huge left hook, Jędrzejczyk is like a zombie taking these shots! Huge spinning back fist wobbles Zhang for a second before she starts throwing shots again. The bell sounds and this hall of fame fight comes to and end! WOW – I don’t envy the judges trying to separate these two fighters
OFFICIAL RESULT: Weili Zhang def. Joanna Jędrzejczyk via split decision