Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier has high praise for his fellow former champion, Zhang Weili.
This Sat. night (June 11, 2022) at UFC 275 in Kallang, Singapore, fans will be treated to a rematch of one of the greatest fights of all time when Zhang meets old foe, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The match-up sees Strawweight royalty colliding two years after their epic first encounter at UFC 248 in March 2020. Battling mightily for five straight rounds with no slowing down, Zhang successfully picked up her lone title defense as champion, earning a split decision nod (watch full fight).
HISTORY IN THE MAKING! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will stage its first-ever numbered pay-per-view (PPV) event in Southeast Asia with “Teixeira vs. Prochazka” from inside Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, on Sat., June 11, 2022. In UFC 275’s PPV main event, Light Heavyweight champion, Glover Teixeira, will lock horns with No. 2-ranked berserker, Jiri Prochazka, while women’s Flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, tangles with No. 5-seeded Taila Santos in the co-feature. And, of course, Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Zhang Weili will run back their epic 2020 “Fight of the Year,” with the winner likely earning a future Strawweight title shot against division queenpin, Carla Esparza.
Like every sane mixed martial arts (MMA) fan around the globe, Cormier is also excited for part two. However, the former two-division titlist can’t see the sequel outshining the original.
“I think it’s gonna be a good fight,” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “I think we’re gonna see a lot of skills. I don’t think that we’re gonna see that type of aggression, that type of head-on collision that we saw in the first fight. I think for Joanna to win, she’s got to be smarter. I think that in the time away she has recognized that and understands that even though the boogeywoman is a fun character, at times, you can’t fight like the boogeywoman. You gotta be a little bit more sharp in your approach. Especially when you’re fighting — honestly, Zhang Weili is legit the greatest athlete I think I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”
While Zhang has remained active with two consecutive bouts against Rose Namajunas in 2021, Poland’s Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought since UFC 248 when the two performed in 2020’s Fight of the Year.
The story for many observers breaking down the rematch highlight inactivity vs. results. For Zhang, she suffered two losses despite being more active than Jedrzejczyk. In the first fight with Namajunas, Zhang was dealt a quick knockout loss before the closely contested rematch saw China’s finest on the wrong side of the split decision.
To overcome the still-dangerous “Magnum,” Cormier believes Jedrzejczyk will need to try and channel some of her more clinical displays, notably seen during her title reign from 2015 to 2017.
“She’s so fast, she’s like a ball of muscle,” Cormier said of Zhang. “She’s just tremendous. I mean, we’ve seen her do things that — if you put a basketball in Zhang Weili’s hands, I would imagine she could shoot it. Baseball? She’s probably pretty damn good. You put her on the track and field team, she’s probably pretty damn good. So, she’s about as athletic as anyone we’ve ever seen. To beat someone like that, you’ve got to be smart, and I think Joanna’s gonna do that and fight maybe a little bit slower.”
Who wins this weekend?
304 votes total Vote Now
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 275 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 275: “Teixeira vs. Prochazka” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.