Two months out from UFC 248, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is ready to once again don strawweight gold, especially given her believe that she has already overcome a very similar challenge to Weili Zhang.
This challenge was once a “challenger” when Jedrzejczyk was still the strawweight champion. In fact, it was the final title defense of her five-defense reign that occurred in May of 2017 at UFC 211. Joanna believes that while Zhang is a worthy opponent, she matches up favorably against the reigning strawweight champion, just as she did Andrade (Via MMA Junkie):
“Definitely ‘and the new,’ but she’s strong animal,” Jedrzejczyk said on the latest “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. “She’s so big. She’s huge, and she throws very hard punches, but I’m more experienced, I think, through these championship bouts so many times, so I’m a real fighter. My conditioning is always on point, and I will have to be very clever, very sneaky, as well, and I think this fight with Zhang will be similar to the fight with Jessica Andrade.
“They both are very, very similar fighters,” Jedrzejczyk continued. “Going forward, throwing loopy punches, looking for good wrestling, like strong wrestling. They’re not very technical fighters, but they’re very, very strong, so I think this fight is going to be very similar. I have to cut the angles, slip, counter, use my timing, my length, my reach. There’s much more coming.”
Comparisons aside, the best route to success is to stay within and worry about oneself above others. And that is precisely what Jedrzejczyk is doing ahead of looking to reclaim the strawweight throne in two months.
“I’m back to the roots,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I put more combos – it’s not only boxing or kicks. I put more combinations, as I used to do in muay Thai and at the beginning of my MMA fighting career, and it’s good. I’m very proud of myself, how I showed up in my last fight with Michelle Waterson. I think I sent a strong message to the strawweight division. Good striking, good wrestling, everything was on point.”
Do you agree with Joanna Jedrzejczyk? Is Weili Zhang a stylistically similar to Jessica Andrade for the Boogeywoman?