The Legend of Weili...
Our Weekly 2 Minute Read
Last night’s UFC 248 marks another historical event as Zhang Weili defends her strawweight title against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk; making Weili the first Chinese UFC Champion to defend her title in the octagon. In a fight that could have gone either way, both women had hearts of a champion as they fought to the very end displaying incredible technique in various forms of martial arts such as kickboxing, muay thai and wrestling. Both women gave it their very best in a back and forth exchange of will and determination. Both sides refused to give up no matter how many strikes each side took. There were a total of 133 strikes landed out of 310 from Weili and a total of 149 strikes landed out of 290 from Joanna. Weili scored one takedown and Joanna had none. The fight was so close and it seemed like fatigue would be a factor for both sides near the end of each round. However, both sides showed why they are champions by battling through to the final two rounds with all their heart. At times it was hard to watch but also hard not to watch with all the significant strikes landing. Joe Rogan made a comment that Joanna was turning into Frankenstein at one point during the fight. In the end it went the distance with Weili retaining her title with a split decision. Weili after losing her first fight in the UFC has now racked up twenty one straight victories and has amplified her respect from the UFC community by beating the former champion who had previously held the title for three years.
It is incredible to watch when two athletes who are passionate about their craft test themselves against each other in one of the purest forms of competition. Not only is it just pure entertainment, but there is inspiration and lessons that are often gained after observing the outcomes of these events. During the post fight interview in the octagon with Weili, you could see the emotions and pride she felt from hitting her goal of retaining her belt. Currently in China, Mix Martial Arts is not as widely accepted compared to the traditional forms of Chinese Martial Arts such as Wing Chun, Kung Fu and Tai Chi. For Weili to be a leader in moving towards accepting all forms of Martial Arts in the UFC shows her courage and commitment towards progress. During Weilie’s interview with Joe Rogan, her message was about fighting together to overcome the coronavirus and also to be a gracious champion by showing respect and being a great example for the younger generation. In Joanna’s interview, she was calm and humble in defeat showing respect to Weili. Joanna was proud of her performance and thanked everyone who supported her. We learned what courage, commitment and respect looks like from Weili and we learned how to handle defeat like a champion from Joanna.
UFC 248 marks another great event down for the history books. It was the women who stole the show and gained many more new fans in the process. It’s an exciting time in the UFC as it continues to break barriers internationally. Looking forward to more events to come in the UFC.