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Zhang Weili defends UFC title, displeased with "rubbish words"

(Xinhua)    09:17, March 09, 2020

LAS VEGAS, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China's first-ever UFC world champion Zhang Weili defended her strawweight title with split decision victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk here on Saturday.

Zhang won 48-47 on two judges' cards, while Jedrzejczyk won 48-47 on the third.

"I don't like any rubbish words in the cage. We should be a model to our descendants. We are champions, not tyrants," Zhang said following her victory.

Jedrzejczyk, a former world Muay Thai champion, started the first round brightly and landed a number of powerful leg kicks and straight punches.

However, if Jedrzejczyk thought she would be able to use her significant height and reach advantage to keep the powerful Zhang at bay, she was sorely mistaken.

Zhang grew into the first round and was able to land several huge counter strikes and remained composed, even as Jedrzejczyk continued to put the pressure on.

The second round continued as the first round ended. Jedrzejczyk put the pressure on and Zhang responded with deadly, heavy blows. During the second round, Zhang increased her output on leg kicks on Jedrzejczyk which slowed her advance. In addition, Zhang began to more consistently string together the punches in bunches that caused physical damage to the Polish fighter.

While the increased number of punches from Zhang began to land on Jedrzejczyk, the Chinese champion began to fatigue and during the third and fourth rounds, it was clear that Zhang had tired more than her opponent. Yet, Zhang, while slowing down, showed awesome determination and grit to stay even with Jedrzejczyk and win the third despite catching a head kick in the final moments of the round.

In the final round, Zhang got her second win and sparked into life. Zhang, who minutes earlier had been tiring, suddenly looked the fresher of the two women. Jedrzejczyk, who was sporting a huge swelling on her forehead, got caught with yet another big Zhang punch that moved her nose across her face.

In the closing stages of the fight, Zhang and Jedrzejczyk exchanged big shots both looking for a finish to take the decision out of the judges' hands. However, with both women battered and bruised after going through war, neither could get the finish they both desired.

"It's been a very hard way to come here since the coronavirus outbreak. My country and my people are fighting against the virus bravely. Since the virus is spreading worldwide, I just want to say that we can win this fight. And together we will!" said Zhang.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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