Joanna Jedrzejczyk doesn’t think Zhang Weili is the same fighter as before.
Jedrzejczyk and Zhang first met at UFC 248 in March of 2020 as Zhang was looking to defend her strawweight title. The two had one of the best fights of all time and it was Zhang who edged out a split decision win. Since then, Jedrzejczyk has not fought – which is something she needed.
“It was my personal decision to not fight,” Jedrzejczyk told MMA Junkie. “The first break I took was after the fight with Valentina Shevchenko. I needed that. When I was the UFC champ, I was fighting very often. I was very active. One of the reasons I took a longer break was the time for myself. We don’t have the balance between the private life and the business and sports life. Then there was no fans at the arena and for me, there is no sport, any sport, without fans. I’m happy I can perform in front of thousands of people in the arena or watching TV.”
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How Will the Time Off Impact Joanna Jedrejczyk at UFC 275?
Although some may think the layoff may hurt, Jedrejczyk believes it was beneficial. Along with that, the former champ believes Zhang is not the same fighter as before. Since their first fight, Zhang has lost back-to-back fights to Rose Namajunas and although Jedrzejczyk says Zhang isn’t the same fighter, she’s still expecting a very tough fight.
“I think that she’s not the same after our first fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Of course, I lost, but she’s not the same. But she’s still one of the most dangerous in the division. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.”
Ultimately, Jedrzejczyk is confident she will do enough to get her hand raised as she expects a very violent fight again, but this time, she will get her hand raised.
“I just have to put the gas pedal down and be first, violent, but smart from the first seconds of the fight,” Jedrzejczyk said. “There is no time to be wasted in this fight, so we have to play my game from the first seconds of the fight… It’s going to be medical procedure. I’m going to be the best surgeon and I will pick the right tools and use them at the right time. Sharp.”
How to Watch Joanna Jedrzejczyk UFC 275
- When: Saturday, June 11, 2022
- Early Prelims: 6:30 p.m. EST / 3:30 p.m. PST
- Prelims Start Time: 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST
- Main Card Start Time: 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST
- Location: Singapore Indoor Stadium – Singapore
- Channel: ESPN+ / PPV