Dana White confirms Weili – Joanna 2 winner next for UFC strawweight title

UFC, Dana White
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JUNE 20: Dana White, UFC President gives a speech during 2019 UFC Performance Institute Panel and UFC Fight Night Shenzhen Press Conference at UFC Performance Institute Shanghai on June 20, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images)

This weekend on the main card of UFC 275, we are going to see a massive rematch in the strawweight division. Former strawweight champions Zhang Weili (21-3) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4) will fight for the second time.

Their first fight took place back in 2020 at UFC 248 when Weili was the strawweight champion. The fight was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen and it was razor close. Ultimately, Weili successfully defended her title by split decision.

Weili would then go on to lose her title to Rose Namajunas. She also lost the immediate rematch that put herself in a similar spot as Jedrzejczyk. Both Weili and Jedrzejczyk went 0-2 against Rose Namajunas in title fights.

Last month, it was hard to picture the winner of this fight getting a title shot against Rose Namajunas. However, Namajunas lost her title to Carla Esparza at UFC 274 in one of the worst fights the world has ever seen.

Given how terrible the fight was, Namajunas isn’t getting an immediate rematch. That opened the door for this fight at UFC 275 to have much bigger implications than originally expected.

UFC title shot to the winner

Dana White spoke with John Morgan from The Underground yesterday regarding the strawweight title picture. White confirmed that the winner of this rematch at UFC 275 will get the next shot at Carla Esparza.

If Jedrzejczyk wins, we are going to see a very familiar situation play out. Carla Esparza became the first strawweight champion when she defeated Rose Namajunas the first time. Her first title defense was against Jedrzejczyk and she got demolished.

We could be looking at a repeat. However, if Weili wins, then we will see a fight that we haven’t seen yet in the UFC strawweight division. Now of course, with this latest news, three fighters are left out in the dark.

Those three fighters are Namajunas, Marina Rodriguez, and Jessica Andrade. Namajunas is 4-0 against Weili and Jedrzejczyk, but going 0-2 against Esparza really puts her back in the UFC title picture.

Rodriguez is on a four-fight winning streak, but White confirmed that she’s not getting the shot. Jessica Andrade scored a first round finish in her return to strawweight so she’s right there as well.

My guess is that this weekend’s winner gets the title shot. The UFC will put on the trilogy between Namajunas and Andrade and Rodriguez will likely be left to fight the loser of this weekend’s strawweight fight.