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UFC 248: Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk produce an instant classic in Las Vegas (VIDEO)

UFC 248: Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk produce an instant classic in Las Vegas (VIDEO)
While the main event of UFC 248 may have turned out to be something of a damp squib, the co-main event was anything but, as Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk produced a fight as good as any title fight we've ever seen in the UFC.

Defending UFC women's strawweight champion Weili claimed the split-decision victory over Jedrzejczyk after five of the fastest, most action-packed rounds ever witnessed in a UFC title fight as the two 115-pound superstars traded shots for 25 solid minutes in their co-main event title clash.

Weili edged it 47-48, 48-47, 48-47 to complete the first defense of her title as she dedicated her win to the people of China who are battling against the coronavirus epidemic. And, after watching her performance against Jedrzejczyk, it would surely be impossible not to be inspired to fight on.

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Weili started fast and quickly found a home for her heavy hands early on, with her counter left hook proving particularly potent in the opening two rounds, but Jedrzejczyk matched the Chinese world champion almost punch for punch, and when Weili's pace dropped ever so slightly at the halfway point of the fight, the former champion kept her foot on the gas.

It meant many observers had the scores even at 38-38 going into the fifth and final round, and the two champions went hell for leather in a brilliant final round as, both battered and bruised, they left it all in the octagon in their quest for victory.

Ultimately, it was Weili who edged it via split decision to retain her title and put a big question mark over Jedrzejczyk's next move. The Pole, still the most dominant champion in the history of the UFC's women's 115-pound division, has lost each of her last four world title fights – three at strawweight and one at flyweight – and one wonders what her next move might be.

But for Weili, it could be the start of something huge. Mixed martial arts is exploding in popularity in China, and with "Magnum" holding championship gold, the UFC has the perfect poster girl to take their brand's popularity to new heights in Asia.

By Simon Head