UFC 275: China’s Zhang in line for title shot after stunning KO

Zhang Weili UFC 275

Zhang Weili (L) of China competes with Joanna Zedrzejkik (R) of Poland in the women’s strawweight competition during the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 275 event in Singapore on June 12, 2022. (Photo by Nicholas Yeo / AFP)

China’s Zhang Weiley will get a shot at redemption in the UFC Strovet section after knocking out Poland’s Joanna Zedrzejic in a thrilling second-round spinning fist in Singapore on Sunday.

Former world champion Zhang Zederzejic stepped away from the attack, with the spin and connected flush head to head, the cold pole falling head first on the canvas 2 minutes 28 seconds after the second round.

“I am just happy to be here. I told myself I would use all my experience for this fight and I did – I’m coming back, “said 32-year-old Zhang, who should now crack down on world champion Carla Esparza.

Zhang made his name in the face of the Asian MMA and throughout the fight, a perfect primer for two world title fights as the UFC returned to Asia for the first time since the start of the coronavirus epidemic.

Czech rival Jiri Prochazka has upset veteran Brazilian glover Teixeira to become world light-heavyweight champion after a brutal contest.

With only 30 seconds left in the final round, Prochazka lay on the back of the nude choke watching Texas submit to hand over the title.

Earlier, Kyrgyz-Peruvian champion Valentina Shevchenko almost lost to Brazil’s Tayla Santos in the women’s flyweight title fight.

Santos’ superior ground game put Shevchenko in trouble in the first round, but he fought for a split decision at 48–47, 47–48, 49–46.

UFC boss Dana White has promised that the winner of the Zhang-Jedrzejk bout, American Strovet, will compete with Asperza for the world title.

‘The Biggest Fight’

In March 2020, in Las Vegas, Zhang last fought Jedrzejk – they fought a five-round battle that White called “the greatest fight ever” and the Chinese retained the title in a split decision.

Sunday’s rematch was just as breathtaking when Zhang won the first exchange and hit his opponent with his elbow to the ground.

But Zederjekzik got back on his feet and was able to attack until the end of the first round.

Zhang accelerated to the second side before landing it in a brutal, effective result, landing 75 percent of the significant strikes thrown.

The 34-year-old Zedrzejic, who was the Strovet champion from 2015 to 2017, announced his retirement immediately after the fight.

Zhang, who lost the title to American Rose Namazunas last year, said he was ready to face Asperger after paying tribute to Jedrzejic.

“Jonah is a warrior. He is a warrior, “said Zhang.

“I was very, very calm and comfortable for this fight. I told myself I wasn’t fighting Joanna, I was fighting myself. I can conquer everything by defeating myself. “

Sunday’s card marks a week of action from the US-led Mixed Martial Arts Promotion in Singapore, which included the first installment of a new “Road to UFC” tournament to showcase unsigned talents from the Asia-Pacific region.

And with more regional talent appearing on the undercard on Sunday, Chinese 21-year-old Lightweight Mahesh had an immediate impact on Hayesar.

The third youngest fighter in the UFC book, Mahesh experienced American Steve Garcia made a stunning debut in the first round knockout.

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