The UFC Strawweight Championship bout between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 248 on March 7, 2020, is widely regarded as one of the greatest fights in MMA history. The two fighters put on an epic display of heart, skill, and determination, with neither willing to back down. Zhang ultimately emerged victorious via a razor-thin split decision after five grueling rounds.
Zhang Weili entered the fight as the champion, having won the title just four months prior with a first-round TKO victory over Jessica Andrade. She brought an 18-fight winning streak into the bout and was widely considered to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Meanwhile, Jędrzejczyk was a former champion herself, having held the strawweight belt for over two years before losing it to Rose Namajunas in 2017.
The first round of the fight was a back-and-forth affair, with both fighters landing significant strikes. Zhang appeared to have the edge in power, while Jędrzejczyk’s speed and technical striking were on display. The second round saw Jędrzejczyk start to take control, as she landed a series of crisp combinations and leg kicks that left Zhang visibly bruised and bloodied.
The third round was arguably the most intense of the fight, with both fighters trading heavy shots and showing incredible durability. Jędrzejczyk’s face began to swell from the damage she was taking, but she continued to press forward and land strikes. Zhang responded with her own flurry of punches and kicks, and the two fighters went back and forth until the final bell.
The championship rounds saw both fighters dig deep and showcase their incredible heart and determination. Zhang continued to pressure Jędrzejczyk with heavy strikes, while Jędrzejczyk displayed her trademark footwork and technical prowess. The fifth round was particularly dramatic, as both fighters exchanged blows and appeared to be on the brink of finishing the fight.
In the end, the judges awarded the fight to Zhang Weili via split decision, with scores of 48-47, 47-48, and 48-47. The decision was controversial, with many fans and analysts feeling that Jędrzejczyk had done enough to win. Regardless of the outcome, the fight was universally praised for its high level of skill and intensity, and both fighters cemented their status as two of the best strawweight in the world.
Since their epic clash at UFC 248, both Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk have continued to compete at the highest level of the sport. Zhang successfully defended her title against former champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 261, while Jędrzejczyk has taken some time off to recover from the injuries she sustained in her fight with Zhang.
Looking back on their unforgettable battle, it’s clear that Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk pushed each other to the limit and created a fight that will be remembered for years to come. Their rivalry has become one of the most memorable in UFC history, and fans can only hope that they will have the chance to face off again in the future.