Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili 'went to war' as the former says, in a five-round battle over the 155-pounds UFC gold. Weili came out victorious in defending her title via a narrow split decision, but the entire MMA world acknowledges that it could have been either way.
As she heals and recovers from the fight, Jedrzejczyk opened up about Weili and what she thought of her as an opponent in an exclusive interview with MMA Fighting.
Jedrzejczyk talks about Weili
The two fighters were involved in several heated exchanges over the weeks leading up to the bout. But Jedrzejczyk never seemed to underestimate her opponent. In the interview, she praised the Champion with no reservation, calling her a "very tough opponent".
"We got into a war. We went five rounds, a real championship war. She didn’t surprise me with anything. Her cardio was good. She’s a very tough b**ch and I mean b**ch in a good way. She’s a very tough opponent. She’s a tough character. She doesn’t give up. We Polish people are the same. We go to the end. She can handle punches. She can get punched and me the same way."
Both the fighters truly took some hard punches, as Jedrzejczyk walked away with a massive hematoma on her head and Weili with a smashed and bleeding nose, among many other bruises.
Jedrzejczyk also reminded how she had stated earlier that this fight would be the best Strawweight fight ever, and it did go on to become one of the greatest fights in MMA history altogether - one that is arguably worthy of Hall of Fame, according to UFC president Dana White. All this might easily pave the way for a rematch of the fight, and the Polish fighter is ready for it - but right now she has other plans in mind.
"Sure why not? If she’s going to be the champ, why not? I want to face the best. I might consider doing this again... Right now, I just want to go home and relax. I don’t want to think about my next move, my next fight. I don’t want to think about the future yet. I need the time off to be myself but I’m fine. I’m strong. I keep my head up. Of course the expectations are very high but like I said, it’s not just about having the belt physically. I’m very proud of myself. My job is to be one of the best athletes and I am one of the best in the world."
Jedrzejczyk is currently awaiting surgery on her ear and waiting for the swelling on her forehead to heal. She will be flying back to her homeland Poland on Friday and is looking forward to spending time with her friends and family.
Joanna made it clear that she is quite ambitious for the belt, and would definitely like to fight for it in the future. But the real thing is to go out there and fight, according to her. "It's all about the legacy," she said.Published 14 Mar 2020, 15:11 IST