China’s Zhang Weili will get a shot at redemption within the UFC strawweight division after knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland with a sensational second-round spinning again fist in Singapore on Sunday.
Former world champion Zhang ducked away from a Jedrzejczyk onslaught, spun and linked flush to the pinnacle with the out-cold Pole falling face-first into the canvas after 2min 28sec of spherical two.
“I’m very glad for this struggle. I advised myself I’d use all my expertise for this struggle and I did it. I’m coming again,” stated the 32-year-old Zhang, who ought to now get a crack at world champion Carla Esparza.
Zhang is the face of MMA in Asia and had the group chanting her identify all through the struggle, an ideal primer for the 2 world title fights as UFC returned to Asia for the primary time for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started.
Czech challenger Jiri Prochazka upset veteran Brazilian Glover Teixeira to turn into world light-heavyweight champion after a brutal contest.
With simply 30 seconds left within the closing spherical, Prochazka laid on a rear-naked choke that noticed Teixeira submit handy over his title.
Previous to that Kyrgyz-Peruvian champion, Valentina Shevchenko was virtually upset in a girls’s flyweight title bout by Brazil’s Taila Santos.
Santos’s superior floor sport had Shevchenko in bother within the opening rounds, however she fought again to edge a break up choice 48–47, 47–48, 49–46.
UFC boss Dana White promised the winner of the Zhang-Jedrzejczyk bout would problem Esparza for the American’s strawweight world title.
Best struggle ever
The final time Zhang fought Jedrzejczyk, in Las Vegas in March 2020, they staged a five-round struggle that White declared “the best struggle ever” with the Chinese language retaining her title on a break up choice.
The rematch on Sunday was simply as breathless with Zhang successful the early exchanges and pounding her opponent with elbows on the bottom.
However Jedrzejczyk acquired again to her toes and managed to assault till the tip of the primary spherical.
The tempo intensified within the second earlier than Zhang introduced it to a brutal, efficient finish, having landed 75 per cent of the numerous strikes thrown.
The 34-year-old Jedrzejczyk, who was strawweight champion from 2015 to 2017, instantly introduced her retirement after the struggle.
Zhang, who misplaced the title to American Rose Namajunas final yr, stated she was able to face Esparza after paying tribute to Jedrzejczyk.
“Joanna is a fighter. She is a warrior,” stated Zhang.
“I used to be very, very calm and relaxed for this struggle. I advised myself I’m not combating Joanna, I’m combating myself. As quickly as I beat myself I can conquer every part.”
Sunday’s card capped off per week of motion from the US-based main combined martial arts promotion in Singapore, that had included the primary instalment of the brand new “Highway to UFC” match to showcase unsigned expertise from Asia- Pacific area.
And extra regional expertise was on show on the undercard Sunday, with Chinese language 21-year-old light-weight Maheshate Hayisaer making an instantaneous influence
The third youngest fighter on UFC books, Maheshate loved a surprising debut with a first-round knockout of veteran American Steve Garcia.