According to Weili Zhang her opponent has made some adjustments since their first fight. She went to war with Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 two years ago.
After a five round war which left both strawweights bloodied and bruised Zhang was declared the winner. Since then she has fought twice, losing to Rose Namajunas on both occasions.
By contrast Jedrzejczyk has spent the last two years on the sidelines and has not tasted any action since the split decision loss to Zhang. The two went face to face in Singapore yesterday and the Chinese fighter made an interesting observation:
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In English Zhang noted that,
“Meet again. She is so much prettier!”
There is clearly no animosity between these strawweights. But it didn’t stop them from going toe to toe for 25 minutes the first time they met, putting on the greatest women’s fight in UFC history.
When you have that type of history with an opponent there is no need to try and manufacture a grudge line or give the fight a storyline. Fans know that these two strawweights don’t need to hate one another to put on a ‘fight of the year’ contender.
Saying hey from the Singapore skyline 🦁📸
— UFC (@ufc) June 8, 2022
But even under these special circumstances it is still surprising to hear Zhang being so complimentary about an opponent she will face at UFC 275 on Sunday. This time the fight is scheduled for just three rounds but neither strawweight will be taking it lightly.
A title shot is definitely on the line. This week Dana White confirmed that the winner of the fight would be next in line for a shot at newly crowned champion Carla Esparza.
Both are coming off losses in strawweight title fights. Both are former champions who are on a mission to recapture a belt which once belonged to them.
The last time Zhang was face to face with Jedrzejczyk the Polish fighters face was swollen beyond all recognition. Even seasoned MMA fans described the injuries as ‘horrific’ with a huge hemotomas totally distorting her forehead.
So maybe it is not a major surprise that Zhang thinks she is looking ‘prettier’. But while she might be complimenting Jedrzejczyk on her appearance this week the Chinese fighter won’t be holding back on Sunday.