Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 275, we will see a strawweight matchup that is a rematch from the 2020 Fight of the Year. Former strawweight champions Zhang Weili (21-3) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4) will meet for the second time.
Their first fight took place at UFC 248 just a little over two years ago. It was an absolute war with both fighters landing huge shots on the other. In the end, Zhang Weili defended her title at the time and won by split decision.
Since then, Joanna Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought. She took some time away to heal and refocus. Now, she’s back and she looks happier than ever as she tries to climb back up the mountain to once again become champion.
Speaking of climbing back up the mountain, Zhang Weili is looking to do that. After having a dominant run to capture and defend the UFC title, Weili lost the title to Rose Namajunas last year. She then lost the immediate rematch to Namajunas. She’s looking to defeat Jedrzejczyk for the second time to get back to the title.
UFC 275 Prediction
Earlier this week, Dana White really upped the stakes for this matchup. He confirmed that the winner of this fight will be next for newly crowned UFC champion Carla Esparza so in addition to being a massive fight, there’s so much on the line.
One thing I’m going to watch for is Weili’s wrestling. In her last fight with Namajunas, we really saw her try to go to that. She had been training with Henry Cejudo in preparation for that fight. She didn’t train for Cejudo for this fight.
It wouldn’t be the worst strategy to focus on grappling Jedrzejczyk. For Jedrzejczyk, I’m really curious to see how fresh she looks on the feet. Jedrzejczyk might look better than ever at UFC 275 having had the time to refocus on her career.
I’ve really gone back-and-forth on this pick. All week long, I thought I’d pick Weili. I think she lands with bigger power and that might sway the judges at UFC 275. However, I have this nagging feeling that Jedrzejczyk is going to pull it out.
Call me crazy, but I think the time off will prove to be a good thing. I think we see her sharper than ever and I expect another razor close fight. In fact, I’ll say now that I see another split decision. However, Jedrzejczyk will get the nod at UFC 275.
Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk by Split Decision