Weili Zhang made a lot of history at UFC Fight Night Shenzhen, as she defeated Jessica Andrade to win the UFC Women’s Strawweight Title and the fighter also became the first Chinese-born fighter to win UFC gold.
Former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk reveals that she had three separate opportunities to battle Zhang, but turned them all down.
“She’s good, but the truth is they offered me Weili Zhang three times before that fight and the thing is, she needed me. Okay, she’s the champ now so it might look like she never needed me to become someone. Sometimes people are like, ‘Do you know who she is now?’ Of course I know who she is, but I fight in the Octagon, you know? I’m a professional athlete, I’m a businesswoman and I know who I am. I don’t do fights on Twitter. If [others fighters] call me out, I like it because I know I am in a strong position. Why are they calling me out? Because they know I can bring them to a different level. Maybe they can be lucky and win against former UFC champion, a dominant champion, which I was. [That would allow them to] get better money, get better exposure. Of course, they offered me Weili Zhang, but my goal was to fight for the belt. I took my spot, now I’m fighting Waterson and then I will go for the belt. Slowly, step-by-step, I will reach my goals and my dreams,” she said on Eurobash (via Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting).
Jedrzejczyk will instead face Michelle Waterson in the main event of UFC Fight Night Tampa and the winner could potentially get the next shot at the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion.
Zhang has also called out Jedrzejczyk in the past and the former women’s strawweight champion doesn’t understand why.
“You all should ask her why she was calling me out,” said Jedrzejczyk. “These girls think they can talk when they have the strap, they talk whatever sh*t they want to talk when you are losing, Look at how many of them wanted to call me out when I lost to Rose, they were like, ‘Now we can beat Joanna because she lost’. When I was a dominant champion, they were trying to get the belt, but nobody could keep the pace with me when they faced me. They can talk whatever they want, I’m too classy and too serious for all that bullsh*t.”
UFC Fight Night Tampa takes place on Saturday, October 12 from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida with Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.