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5 Jan, 2022 16:26

Polish fight queen targets chance to avenge brutal disfigurement

UFC strawweight star Joanna Jedrzejczyk has vowed she will return to the Octagon and is targeting a showdown with China’s Zhang Weili
Polish fight queen targets chance to avenge brutal disfigurement

Despite more than 18 months of inactivity, Polish legend Joanna Jedrzejczyk has insisted she is still a UFC fighter and is eyeing a rematch with fellow former strawweight champion Zhang Weili.

The last time fans saw Jedrzejczyk inside the Octagon was way back in March of 2020, when she and Chinese rival Zhang put on a five-round epic at UFC 248 which was hailed as among the greatest contests women’s MMA has ever seen.

The Pole was on the wrong end of split decision that night as Zhang retained her strawweight title, while Jedrzejczyk was left nursing horrific head swelling caused by a hematoma which according to some made her “look like an alien.”  

The former 115lbs ruler has not been seen since inside the Octagon since, causing her to be removed from the UFC rankings.

However, Jedrzejczyk does have one fight left on her current contract and is keen to make 2022 the year of her return – targeting revenge against Zhang.  

“Everyone thinks I’m not in the UFC anymore,” Jedrzejczyk told media in her homeland (and translated by MMA Fighting).  

“I am, I just dropped out of the ranking because I haven’t fought for a dozen or so months, but I’m coming back and fighting. It will probably be Zhang Weili.”

Since their contest, Zhang has lost the strawweight crown with back-to-back defeats against Rose Namajunas.

‘Thug Rose’ is next set to defend the title against longtime contender Carla Esparza, paving the way for Jedrzejczyk vs Zhang II.


“I thought it might be Carla Esparza, but [it’s] confirmed that she is the next to fight for the championship,” Jedrzejczyk said.

“Somewhere there is [Maria] Rodriguez, who also fights Yan [Xiaonan] in March, and [then it] becomes Zhang Weili. I don’t see any other fight. Just going for the belt.

“Dana [White] made me an offer to fight for the championship, but I would have to wait until November-December and I don’t want to wait. I want to fight.”

Last year, Jedrzejczyk said she “deserves a bigger piece of the cake” when considering her UFC future, prompting promotion chief Dana White to respond that the Polish star “ate a lot of cake when she was champion.”

“She was the champ, she did very, very well, deservedly. She’s a little savage and I love that kid,” White added.

If it does end up being Zhang who welcomes Jedrzejczyk back to the Octagon, fans will be salivating at the prospect of another all-out war.