Joanna Jedrzejczyk: ‘I think this fight with Zhang will be similar to the fight with Jessica Andrade’

Joanna Jedrzejczyk sees a familiar stylistic matchup in her upcoming title fight vs. Zhang Weili.

Jedrzejczyk (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) will attempt to recapture the UFC’s strawweight title when she takes on current 115-pound champ Weili (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 248 on March 7 in Las Vegas.

And while she acknowledges the threats in Weili’s game, Jedrzejczyk sees the fight playing out in a similar fashion to her unanimous decision win over Jessica Andrade at UFC 211.

“Definitely ‘and the new,’ but she’s strong animal,” Jedrzejczyk said on the latest “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. “She’s so big. She’s huge, and she throws very hard punches, but I’m more experienced, I think, through these championship bouts so many times, so I’m a real fighter. My conditioning is always on point, and I will have to be very clever, very sneaky, as well, and I think this fight with Zhang will be similar to the fight with Jessica Andrade.”

The UFC 211 clash with Andrade was a striking masterclass by former strawweight queen Jedrzejczyk, and she was able to pick the powerful Brazilian apart from the outside, notching her fifth title defense.

Jedrzejczyk now sees March 7 playing out in a similar fashion.

“They both are very, very similar fighters,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Going forward, throwing loopy punches, looking for good wrestling, like strong wrestling. They’re not very technical fighters, but they’re very, very strong, so I think this fight is going to be very similar. I have to cut the angles, slip, counter, use my timing, my length, my reach. There’s much more coming.”

In her last outing at this past October’s UFC on ESPN+ 19, Jedrzejczyk returned back to 115 pounds after a failed attempt at capturing the UFC women’s flyweight title. It was a patented Jedrzejczyk performance, where she was able to pepper Michelle Waterson, overwhelming her over the course of five rounds.

“I’m back to the roots,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I put more combos – it’s not only boxing or kicks. I put more combinations, as I used to do in muay Thai and at the beginning of my MMA fighting career, and it’s good. I’m very proud of myself, how I showed up in my last fight with Michelle Waterson. I think I sent a strong message to the strawweight division. Good striking, good wrestling, everything was on point.”

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