Zhang Weili Talks Next Fight, Not Interested in Immediate Rematch With Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Although Zhang Weili's recent bout with Joanna Jedrzejczyk was one of the greatet title fights in recent memory, if not ever, the champ isn't looking at running it back next.
If you’re hoping to see Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk throw hands again in the not too distant future, the UFC’s strawweight champ isn’t with you on that.
Weili isn’t interested in running it back with Jedrzejczyk yet
The Chinese star faced the former champ at UFC 248 earlier this month, and Weili emerged from the bout with the split decision win. The contest was an absolute war and and was immediately dubbed an instant classic. In fact, many have argued it is one of the greatest title fights in UFC history.
Well, due to how close and thrilling the bout was, a lot of people have been calling for an immediate rematch. But, in a recent interview with ESPN (via email and through a translator), Weili had this to say about running it back with Jedrzejczyk.
“I have no clue when my next fight would be yet, since everything is stuck by this COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to fight here in the U.S. again, since I have seen a massive number of Chinese and Asian people here motivated by my fight who will definitely cheer for me, and also U.S. has the biggest MMA fan base. I don’t want the rematch yet. I would like to give opportunities to other fighters in line.”
So, if you want to see a rematch sooner than later, this is disappointing news. But, could the UFC insist that Weili face Jedrzejczyk anyways? It’s possible, sure. But, because Jedrzejczyk was also granted an immediate rematch with Rose Namajunas, and lost that bout, the UFC could be thinking Zhang should face someone else anyways.
Weili hasn’t watched the jaw-dropping fight yet
Although the fight buzzed the MMA world big-time, and despite the fact it was really close, Weili apparently hasn’t watched it yet.
“I have not watched it yet, since I did not put on my best performance and showcase my best shape in training. I appreciate the support and recognition from all my fans, and I am glad they enjoyed the fight. Joanna and I both put on our toughness and will inside the Octagon to make the fight fascinating. People back in China are all very motivated and credit my hard work and show tons of respect to all athletes who compete for our country. Almost all mainstream media has interviewed me. I heard there were over 100 million views of the fight within 24 hours in China. So many fans jammed the Chinese pay-per-view website to watch it live, the server went down.”
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100 million views? That’s incredible, and it’s just another indication of how massive a star Weili’s become.