It seems likely that reigning UFC strawweight champion, Zhang Weili will attempt the first defense of the 115-pound title against former division best, Joanna Jędrzejczyk in early 2020. Weili and Joanna have traded words on social media over the last week, with UFC President Dana White appearing to give the pairing his seal of approval.
Making Octagon history in August, Weili became the promotion’s first champion hailing from Asia as the Hebei native stopped Jessica Andrade in a quick-fire first round knockout to standout in a division stacked high with championship hopefuls. Since August, a former division mainstay and one of the most dominant champions in recent history has reemerged as a perennial contender.
Muay Thai expert Joanna Jędrzejczyk returned from a fruitless flyweight excursion to outpoint former Invicta FC atomweight gold holder Michelle Waterson, and move to 2-0 in the division since her championship loss. The Polish striker had some choice words for the China finisher last week, and in a recent exchange with MMA Junkie, Weili gave her thoughts on the outcome of a potential pairing of the two.
“I think she (Joanna Jędrzejczyk) sounds very angry all the time, and her emotions will get her in trouble. She is willing to fight me now, but there was a time she didn’t want to fight me, as well. I am ready anytime for battle. Just call my manager Mr. Brian (Butler) and the boss Dana (White), and we can fight next week. I am always looking to finish a fight as soon as I can so my opponent doesn’t have to endure long periods of damage. I see the fight ending in one or two rounds. I think Joanna (Jędrzejczyk) possess great skill with her striking, along with good power, but I believe in my training and team to have me ready to beat her anywhere. I think she is very angry and emotional, and I will calm her down.”
Weili has only tasted defeat once in her twenty-one fight professional career, and since that debut defeat, the 30-year-old has notched up an incredible seventeen finishes, demonstrating both her highly dangerous striking and offensive grappling attributes. Likely opponent Jędrzejczyk as mentioned by Zhang, is a striking standout among here peers, with incredible output, accuracy and combinations evident in her victories over Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Jessica Andrade and Michelle Waterson making her one of the promotion’s best all rounder standup fighters.
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’.
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