Zhang and Joanna
Jedrzejczyk went to war inside the Octagon, but the strawweight
competitors share a mutual respect outside the cage.
Zhang and Jedrzejczyk recently reunited and captured the moment in
a video on social media.
“We are each other’s opponent in the Octagon, we all want to chase
our dreams to win the fight, but outside of the Octagon we are
friends,” Zhang said. “We can have dinner together, we can talk to
each other, we can be really good friends. So I am really happy
about it. ‘JJ’ is always a legend in my heart, she is always the
champion. I want to learn from her.”
Zhang initially defended her strawweight crown against Jedrzejczyk
via split decision at UFC 248 in a fight that will go down as one
of the greatest in promotion history. The rematch occurred more
than two years later, when Zhang defeated her Polish rival via
spinning backfist KO at UFC 275.
Jedrzejczyk eventually retired after the second loss to Zhang, but
the former 115-pound queen appears to have forged a friendship with
her former adversary.
“Remember, I think like we are athletes, but we’re humans,”
Jedrzejczyk said. “Today we’re the champ, tomorrow we are not, but
we’re always going to be humans so this is what’s more important.
What we can give for free is love and smile to each other, that’s
the most important thing. One day we can beat the hell out of each
other and the next day we can have dinner.”
Zhang is slated to defend the strawweight title against Xioanan Yan
300 on April 13.