UFC Champ Zhang Weili Says Rose Namajunas is a Better “Martial Artist” Than Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Joanna Jedrzejczyk may have defended the UFC's strawweight tite five times, but current champ Zhang Weili believes Rose Namajunas is the superior fighter.
As it stands right now, it looks like Zhang Weili will battle Joanna Jedrzejczyk before she faces Rose Namajunas. But, according to the UFC’s strawweight champ, she expects to have a tougher fight if and when she faces “Thug”.
Weili praises Namajunas
Namajunas ended Jedrzejczyk’s reign as the 115 champ back in 2017, by taking out the Polish star in the opening round. Due to Jedrzejczyk’s lengthy reign as champ, the two were booked for an immediate rematch in 2018, and Namajunas won that bout by decision.
But, in Namajunas’ next fight against Jessica Andrade this past May, she lost the title via a vicious, second round slam. This past August, Weili was tapped to fight Andrade, and she quickly secured the 115 title via a thumping series of strikes.
Since Jedrzejczyk is coming off a decision win over Michelle Waterson last month, the former champ is expected to face Weili in her first title defense (Namajunas has yet to fight since losing the title). But, when Weilia was recently asked about the abilities of Rose versus Joanna, the rising Chinese star said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I always want to fight the best, but it is not my job to determine who the best is,” Weili said via a direct message. “If you are asking me if I think Joanna is the best then the answer is no. Joanna is a worthy opponent and is among the best, but in my opinion Rose is the best martial artist. And when the time is right, it will be an honor to test my skills against hers.”
There’s no question that Joanna is one of the best strikers in women’s MMA, and that she’s one of the greatest female fighters in combat sports history. But, most people would likely agree that Rose has a more comprehensive game.
Weili believes she’ll face Namajunas sooner or later
Well, although it remains to be seen when and if Weili battles Joanna, or if she’ll get by the former champ, she believes she’ll face Namajunas at some juncture.
“I think Rose is a true master and know our paths will cross,” Weili said. “I like Rose very much, and to share the octagon with her will be the true test. I look forward to seeing her return, and I wish her good health and prosperity.”
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Ya. Even if Weili loses to Jedrzejczyk, when you consider she’s only 30 and that Rose is just 27, chances are they’ll throw hands in the Octagon at some juncture.