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UFC 248: Joanna Jedrzejczyk reveals how she plans to reclaim Strawweight title from Weili Zhang

  • #UFC248 will feature the most exciting Strawweight Championship in two years!
R. Nath
Modified 03 Mar 2020, 12:52 IST

UFC 217: Jedrzejczyk v Namajunas
UFC 217: Jedrzejczyk v Namajunas

Joanna Jedrzejczyk last held the Strawweight Championship over two years ago. It was a special night in Madison Square Garden when Rose Namajunas defied the odds and ended the undefeated streak of the greatest Strawweight Champion of all time in Jedrzejczyk.

They would have a rematch a few months later where Namajunas won a tight 5 round fight. However, Namajunas would lose the title a year later to the Brazilian Jessica Andrade, who subsequently lost the title in her first defense to the Chinese sensation Weili Zhang.

Following an unsuccessful attempt to win the vacant Flyweight Championship, Jedrzejczyk returned to Strawweight, where she last defeated Michelle Waterson via a dominant unanimous decision victory.

With Tatiana Suarez's return timeline still unclear, Jedrzejczyk has been put in a position to be Weili Zhang's first title defense and she knows that she's set for one of the toughest challenges of her career.

She told about how she plans to outwork Zhang and recapture the title:

"I’m facing the best strawweight and she’s my next big challenge. She’s the baddest women but I plan on taking back what belongs to me in the strawweight belt. I ran this division for two years and eight months. This will be a perfect night for me.”

While she was full of praise for Zhang, she believes that the Chinese Champion has never faced anyone like her and anticipates that she'll get worn out:

“She has never faced someone like me, at the very top. I went through so many five-round battles, wars. I get better with every round and I know she will try and come forward,” she said. “But, I need to be smart in this fight to keep the pace and stay calm and make her quit round to round. Make her be tired in there.

She did, however, acknowledge Zhang's incredible knockout power and submission skills as well:

“But, she can knock out people out and the thing is, she’s looking for a submission I think. She’s submitted people and she’s dangerous at everything,” Jedrzejczyk continued. “I’m going to be prepared for everything.”

When asked how important it is to her to beat Zhang for her legacy, she said it's much bigger than that:

“This victory is bigger than my whole legacy. This win means everything on March 7. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody even to myself,” she said. “I know how I want to cement my legacy on March 7 again and becoming a two-time UFC strawweight champion, for me and my family and friends, it is everything. My legacy is so big, and I’m doing this for myself now.”

This is undoubtedly the most exciting Strawweight Championship fight in the last two years. Zhang will look to stay atop the 115-pound throne while Jedrzejczyk will look to become a 2-time Strawweight Champion.

Published 03 Mar 2020, 12:52 IST
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