If you could rearrange a card knowing exactly how it would turn out, UFC 248’s headline fight wouldn’t be “Adesanya vs. Romero.”
In what some are calling the fight of the year, Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk captivated fans in the co-main event slot of UFC 248. And while not being in the headline spot of the pay-per-view, the championship match was the most praised.
For five rounds, Zhang and Jedrzejczyk engaged in a damaging, fast paced striking battle. They scored with damaging blows, and it showed as they both wore damage. Jedrzejczyk showed way worse damage, sporting a forehead-wide hematoma by the end.
After the fight ended, the commentary booth was quick to dub the fight as the best in women’s MMA history.
Jedrzejczyk, who lost the bout, is a well known name to UFC fans. When she won the strawweight belt in 2015, she went on to defend it five times before dropping it to Rose Namajunas.
Zhang won the strawweight title in August, stopping former champ Jessica Andrade in under a minute with strikes.
After the fight, both fighters were transported to the hospital.
From Fan Friendly To Fan Foe
The praise for the UFC Strawweight Championship fight was especially elevated after a rather inactive main event followed it.
In the main event, Israel Adesanya fought to a unanimous decision win against Yoel Romero. The crowd voiced displeasure throughout due to neither fighter engaging in the brawls they’ve been known to do before.
Throughout the fight the crowd booed, even going as far as to turn on their phone flashlights. Before the fourth round, the fighters were encouraged by the referee to pick up their pace.
“It was a tough situation for both of them to be in. The fight sucked,” said Dana White, UFC President in the post-fight press conference.
Pros Protect Their O’s
Zhang’s win moved her to 21-1 as a professional. If not for losing a her debut fight back in 2013, Zhang would be an undefeated fighter.
Undefeated fighters went 4-0 in the evening. That includes the aforementioned Adesanya, who moved to 19-0. On the prelims, undefeated prospects Mark Madsen and Rodolfo Vieira got wins. Fan favourite fighter Sean O’Malley got a first round stoppage, finishing Jose Alberto Quinones in just over two minutes, advancing to 11-0.