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‘We put on a hell of a fight every time’ - Jedrzejczyk not surprised by UFC 275 title eliminator status

The former strawweight title holder could secure her fifth chance at UFC gold with a victory over Zhang Weili at UFC 275 on Saturday.

The winner of Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275 will face UFC strawweight champ Carla Esparza
The winner of Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275 will face UFC strawweight champ Carla Esparza
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

With a trilogy fight between strawweight champion Carla Esparza and ex-champ Rose Namajunas off the table—after UFC president Dana White caught himself “zoning out” during their UFC 274 matchup—Marina Rodriguez might have felt pretty good about her chances of getting a crack at gold. Days before UFC 275, however, those hopes appear to have been dashed—with the UFC president declaring the bout between ex-champs Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk a title eliminator.

The UFC rankings team has Rodriguez as the No. 3 fighter at 115 pounds behind Namajunas and Zhang. Rodriguez is on a four-fight winning streak. Her career record sits at 16-1-2. The 35-year-old Brazilian’s sole setback was a June 2020 split-decision loss at the hands of Esparza.

Weili enters UFC 275 with two consecutive losses, both to Namajunas in title fights. Jedrzejczyk, who the UFC yanked from the promotional rankings in October 2021 because of inactivity, is 2-5 dating back to the night she lost the title to Namajunas in 2017. Jedrzejczyk has not fought since she lost to Zhang in the extraordinarily unforgettable co-main event of UFC 248 in March 2020.

Despite her inactivity and recent losses, Jedrzejczyk, who had a run of more than two years as the UFC strawweight champion—with five successful title defenses—is not surprised that her fight on Saturday will earn the winner a shot at Esparza.

“I know there’s lots of talk about other girls, who should get the title shot, but there are girls and then we show up,” Jedrzejczyk said at UFC 275 media day (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Me, Weili, Rose, we put on a hell of a fight every time, you know. And this is what this business is about. It’s not about boring fights, it’s not about just fights, it’s about being the best every single time you step in there. That’s the thing.”

Jedrzejczyk ended Esparza’s reign as champion with a second-round TKO win in March 2015. Zhang has not faced Esparza.

UFC 275 takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on Saturday, June 11. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.