Ahead of her monstrous UFC 248 title bout with Zhang Weili in March, former strawweight world champion, Joanna Jędrzejczyk has once more given her thoughts on how the bout will play out, and in particular – the caliber of Weili as an opponent.
The Poland native earned a re-run at the strawweight crown with two straight wins at 115-pounds over Tecia Torres, and more recently, Michelle Waterson – and has shared some choice words for China native, Zhang Weili in recent months. The promotion’s first-ever champion hailing from Asia, Weili managed a quickfire opening round knockout of Jéssica Andrade – and according to Muay Thai specialist, Jędrzejczyk, Andrade shares some rather similar characteristics to March opponent, Weili. Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast with, Jim Norton, and Matt Serra, the Pole gave her opinion on the danger and style Weili possesses.
“She’s (Weili) so big,” Jędrzejczyk said. “She’s huge, and she throws very hard punches, but I’m more experienced, I think, through these championship bouts so many times, so I’m a real fighter. My conditioning is always on point, and I will have to be very clever, very sneaky, as well, and I think this fight with Zhang (Weili) will be similar to the fight with Jéssica Andrade.”
Jędrzejczyk, who met with the aforementioned, Andrade, back in 2017 – exacted a hugely one-sided display on her way to a unanimous decision title retention. Over the five-round affair, The Olsztyn native landed an incredible two-hundred and thirty strikes and kept distance to mitigate the power coming back from the Brazilian.
“They both are very, very similar fighters. Going forward, throwing loopy punches, looking for good wrestling, like strong wrestling (sic). They’ve not very technical fighters, but they’re very, very strong, so I think this fight is going to be very similar. I have to cut angles, I have to slip, counter, use my timing, my length, my reach. There’s much more coming.”
In her last outing at UFC Fight Night Tampa back in October, Jędrzejczyk managed a relatively comfortable 50-45 unanimous decision win – displaying some Muay Thai expertise and some smothering clinch work. It felt like a huge confidence builder for Joanna, considering the rumors surrounding her ‘difficult’ weight cut a week prior to the main event clash. Since her move to American Top Team after her championship defense against compatriot Karolina Kowalkiewicz – Jędrzejczyk has developed under the tutelage of former WEC featherweight best, Mike Brown, and in recent years, strength and conditioning coach, Phil Daru – something the Pole brought with her into the Octagon against Waterson.
“I’m back to the roots. I put (sic) more combos – It’s not only boxing or kicks, I put (sic) more combinations, as I used to do in Muay Thai and at the beginning of my MMA fighting career, and it’s good. I’m very proud of myself, how I showed up in my last fight with Michelle Waterson. I think I sent a strong message to the strawweight division. Good striking, good wrestling, everything was on point.”
With UFC 248 landing at the T-Mobile Arena on March 7th. Zhang and Jędrzejczyk and expected to take the co-main event billing, with a middleweight championship pairing between, Israel Adesanya, and perennial contender, Yoel Romero, suggested as a potential event headliner.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
#mma #combatsportsnews #BRAVECF #ufc #muaythai #boxing #kickboxing #prowrestling #bareknucklefighting