Sports & Gaming

UFC 248: The Future is Female

One week after the debacle that was Benavidez vs. Figueiredo, UFC 248 put the MMA world on notice: the women are here to stay.

After a whole week of gossip over the UFC’s flyweight men’s division being cut from the roster, the women’s straw-weights put on a show.

China’s first UFC champion, Zhang Weili, took to the octagon for her first defense in 248’s co-main event. Her opponent across the cage was former champ, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who was looking to finally get her belt back after boasting the longest title reign in the division’s history.

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Pre-fight, Joanna had claimed that this bout would be the greatest in women’s MMA history. A claim that I quickly brushed off after hearing it. I’m very excited to say she was not wrong in the slightest.

From the opening horn, Joanna and Zhang stood toe to toe; at times, they were exhibiting the highest level of skill in the sport, and at other points, they would trade in ruthless exchanges.

The damage taken and received by these two ladies was terrifying.

A hit we didn’t see coming left Zhang with a swollen right eye. Instead of backing off, Zhang dealt Joanna with a shocking blow that caused a hematoma to develop in the middle of her forehead.

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In a continuous back and forth, Zhang took several punches, earning swollen lips and a bleeding mouth. With newfound bloodthirst and a sturdy left hook, Joanna gained a broken nose from her opponent.

Zhang then began targeting the hematoma with straight rights, causing it to swell up and cover nearly the entirety of Joanna’s forehead.

After the bout, by split-decision, Weili was awarded. The Chinese champion dedicated her performance to the people working against the coronavirus.

Both fighters were very emotional in the post-fight interviews, which is understandable because of the brutal nature of the scrap.

Calls for a rematch are already happening in what would hopefully be another all-action fight.

After a week of talking about the controversial kind of UFC Norfolk, the MMA world sorely needed this battle.

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