In the co-main event of UFC 248 this weekend, Weili Zhang (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) hopes to start her reign as UFC strawweight champion, as she takes on former longtime champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC). UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero takes places live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday night, March 7th. The main card will air on PPV via ESPN+ starting with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass and ESPN+.
How do these two stack up?
Zhang: 30 years old | 5’4” | 63” reach
Jedrzejczyk: 32 years old | 5’6” | 65.5” reach
How did these two get here?
Zhang: W - Jessica Andrade (TKO| W - Tecia Torres (DEC) | W - Jessica Aguilar (DEC)
Jedrzejczyk: W - Michelle Waterson (DEC) | L - Valentina Shevchenko (DEC) | W - Tecia Torres (DEC)
What have these two done recently?
It has taken Weili Zhang just four UFC fights to become the strawweight champion. After making her debut against Danielle Taylor in 2018, Zhang went on to pick up her first UFC finish against Jessica Aguilar by first-round submission. 2019 was an even better year for “Magnum,” winning a decision against Tecia Torres, she then went on to win the strawweight gold when she finished Jessica Andrade in just 42-seconds at UFC Shenzhen. Zhang will now hope to make the first defence of her title against Jedrzejczyk this weekend.
It’s no question that Jedrzejczyk has not recently shown the form she once did when she was strawweight champion back in 2015-17. Consecutive losses to Rose Namajunas and an unsuccessful bid at the flyweight title against Valentina Shevchenko has meant Jedrzejczyk has only won two of her last five UFC fights. Despite this Jedrzejczyk is ridiculously talented on the feet and will be the toughest fight of Zhang’s career so far.
Why should you care?
Both women have great striking and judging by the intense stare down they had at the media day, we are in for a fascinating title fight.