In March 2020, Jędrzejczyk and Zhang collided for the 115-pound gold, delivering a five-round war worthy of a place on the Mount Rushmore of mixed martial arts fights. After 25 minutes of brutal and memorable action, it was the Chinese strawweight who emerged with the title still in her possession.
Now over two years on, the pair are set to run it back at UFC 275 tonight. While there’s no belt on the line this time, it seems to be the consensus opinion that the victor will go on to challenge newly crowned champion Carla Esparza.
Ahead of the rematch, much of the discussion has surrounded the length of the bout. While their Fight of the Year clash in 2020 saw five rounds of action, their second dance in Singapore will have a three-round duration.
With her calls to add 10 minutes to the contest falling on deaf ears, Jędrzejczyk is set for a her first 15-minute fight since a 2018 victory over Tecia Torres.
What does that mean for the Polish star? She needs to be more violent, and quicker.
During an interview with MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn, Jędrzejczyk discussed her game plan heading into what will be a rare short night at the office for the 34-year-old.
“We have to (be quick), like in racing. I just have to put the gas pedal down and be first, violent, but smart, from the first second of the fight,” said Jędrzejczyk. “There is no time to be wasted in this fight. We have to play my game from the first second of the fight.”
Having ventured into the world of motorsport racing during her lengthy period away from the Octagon, something she’s hoping to pursue professionally following her MMA career, Jędrzejczyk knows all about speed.
And with a dance partner we know is willing to engage in a fast-paced scrap, perhaps the pair’s rematch will go someway to matching their first contest, or at least provide a worthy second showing. We’ll find out tonight at UFC 275.
Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 275, Joanna Jędrzejczyk or Zhang Weili?