The bar had been set sky-high, but Zhang Weili once more reached for the celebs.
Two years after she and fellow former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk engaged in what many take into account the best struggle in girls’s MMA historical past, the 2 had one other basic slugfest at UFC 275 on Saturday in Singapore. This one lasted solely 2 minutes, 28 seconds into Spherical 2 earlier than Zhang used a spinning backfist to knock out Jedrzejczyk, who introduced her retirement proper afterward.
“I’m very, very happy for this fight,” Zhang mentioned by way of an interpreter. “I told myself I would use all of my aspects to beat my opponent, and I did it.”
Certainly, Zhang (22-3) scored three takedowns within the first spherical after getting only one within the 25-minute first struggle. As soon as she had Jedrzejczyk on the canvas, the 32-year-old from China punished her opponent with a number of elbows to the pinnacle. Jedrzejczyk survived to Spherical 2, however halfway by way of, she fell face-first to the canvas after absorbing the spinning assault from Zhang.
Afterward, a tearful Jedrzejczyk (16-5), who reigned as champ from 2015 to 2017, positioned her gloves on the middle of the cage and introduced she was completed preventing. “I’m turning 35 this year,” she mentioned. “I want to be a mom. I want to be a businesswoman.”
Zhang ended a two-fight dropping streak towards Rose Namajunas, who took away the 115-pound title belt in April 2021 and received the rematch a little bit over six months later.
Though the UFC didn’t invoice Saturday’s struggle as a title eliminator, Zhang carried out impressively sufficient to earn her a shot at champion Carla Esparza, whom she referred to as out, concentrating on UFC 281 on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“It’s not your territory; it’s not my territory,” Zhang mentioned. “Let’s meet in Abu Dhabi and fight together in a very balanced place.”
UFC 275 outcomes
Girls’s flyweight championship: Valentina Shevchenko (c) (23-3, 12-2 UFC) def. Taila Santos (19-2, 4-2 UFC) by cut up choice
Shevchenko squeaked by Santos with a cut up choice victory as she defended her title for the seventh time at UFC 275. Extra to return from Singapore in a bit.
Welterweight: Jake Matthews (18-5, 11-5 UFC) def. Andre Fialho (16-5, 2-2 UFC) by knockout (Watch on ESPN+)
Matthews was simply 19 years previous when he debuted within the UFC. On the time, he was the youngest fighter on the roster and one of many prime prospects popping out of Australia.
There have been ups and downs for Matthews, peaks and valleys. However after eight years within the UFC, the still-not-30-year-old Aussie may need put collectively one of the best efficiency of his profession. Matthews pummeled Fialho on his technique to a knockout at 2:24 of the second spherical.
“I’ve had this sort of skill level my entire career,” Matthews mentioned in his postfight interview. “Thank God we were able to bring it to the fight this time. Everything you’ve seen from me before this fight was 50% of Jake Matthews. So get used to seeing that.”
The motion picked up close to the tip of the primary spherical, with large exchanges touchdown from each males. Fialho then hit Matthews with a stiff proper hand, and Matthews countered with an enormous mixture that damage Fialho. Within the second spherical, Matthews poured it on. He landed a tough left hook, adopted by one other left that staggered Fialho.
Matthews then hit an uppercut, a winging proper hook and an overhand proper excessive of a Fialho left on a counter. With Fialho trapped towards the cage, Matthews landed one other left hook that wobbled Fialho after which a mixture that put Fialho down, resulting in the end. Afterward, Matthews mentioned he’d wish to struggle on the UFC’s first-ever present in Paris in September.
Matthews, 27, has received 4 of his final 5 fights, dropping solely to the surging Sean Brady throughout that point. “The Celtic Kid” debuted within the UFC in June 2014 as a young person, simply his eighth professional struggle. He has an 11-5 UFC file now.
Fialho, a 28-year-old Portugese fighter, had a two-fight successful streak snapped. He has already fought 4 instances this yr after signing with the UFC in January.
Welterweight: Jack Della Maddalena (12-2, 2-0 UFC) def. Ramazan Emeev (20-6, 5-3 UFC) by TKO (Watch on ESPN+)
Della Maddalena delivered an distinctive encore to his UFC debut in January, as he knocked out Emeev with a left hook to the physique at 2:32 of the opening spherical to enhance to 2-0 with the promotion.
The 25-year-old prospect from Perth, Australia — who knocked out Pete Rodriguez with a left hook in lower than three minutes in January — folded Emeev with a well-placed shot to the liver up towards the fence. Referee John Sharp gave Emeev a second to get well, but it surely was shortly evident that Emeev had no real interest in persevering with. The official end result was a first-round TKO.
The end got here after Della Maddalena escaped a nasty anaconda choke. Emeev shot on a single leg within the middle of the cage and practically took Della Maddalena’s again as he tried to scramble out. Emeev, whose final end got here by way of anaconda choke in 2016, appeared to have a good squeeze on the choke, however Della Maddalena survived, obtained again to his toes and went straight to work with strikes.
Ten of Della Maddalena’s 12 profession wins have come by way of knockout. He has received 12 in a row after beginning his skilled profession 0-2.
Males’s featherweight: Josh Culibao (10-1-1, 2-1-1 UFC) def. Seungwoo Choi (10-5, 3-4 UFC) by cut up choice (Watch on ESPN+)
Culibao scored a first-round knockout. (Nearly.) He had a second-round KO. (Virtually.) He obtained choked out in Spherical 3. (Practically.) In an all-action struggle with a number of harmful moments for every man, the 28-year-old Australian went the gap to earn a slender win.
Culibao dropped and badly damage Choi within the first two rounds, however the South Korean survived and even landed damaging blows late within the first spherical and was himself briefly chasing a end. Then, in Spherical 3, Choi scored a takedown, seized again management and threatened with a rear-naked choke. However Culibao defended properly.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28, with two giving it to Culibao, who received his second in a row after a loss and draw had marred his good file.
Choi, 29, has misplaced two in a row.
Light-weight: Maheshate (7-1, 1-0 UFC) def. Steve Garcia (12-5, 1-2 UFC) by knockout (Watch on ESPN+)
Maheshate sends Steve Garcia to the canvas with only one punch at UFC 275.
Who wants two names when you’ve got energy in your arms like Maheshate?
The highest Chinese language prospect turned Garcia’s lights off with an enormous proper hand, leading to a knockout victory at 1:14 of the primary spherical. With Garcia coming ahead recklessly, Maheshate guided a straight proper to his jaw and Garcia faceplanted, unconscious on affect.
“Like I said in my prefight interviews, I will use my overhand right to finish the fight,” Maheshate mentioned. “And I did it.”
Garcia really landed an enormous mixture that damage Maheshate within the opening seconds, however Garcia may need tried a bit too onerous to comply with up. He got here ahead and Maheshate dropped him with a proper hand. Garcia recovered however pushed forward with some missed punches carelessly — and Maheshate made him pay. The second time, Garcia didn’t stand up.
Maheshate, 22, is the third-youngest fighter on the roster and the youngest light-weight within the UFC. He was the primary Chinese language fighter to earn a UFC contract from Dana White’s Contender Collection, beating Achilles Estremadura final November. A 30-year-old from New Mexico, Garcia has dropped two of three within the UFC.
Middleweight: Brendan Allen (19-5, 7-2 UFC) def. Jacob Malkoun (6-2, 2-2 UFC) by unanimous choice (Watch on ESPN+)
Allen, 26, narrowly averted an upset loss by the hands of Australia’s Malkoun, however in the end managed to churn out a call win behind unanimous 29-28 judges’ scorecards.
Malkoun had great success with the single-leg takedown and have become the primary fighter in UFC middleweight historical past to file at the least six takedowns in three consecutive fights. He took Allen down in each spherical of the struggle, though he additionally struggled to land any actual offense from these positions. Allen reversed place on Malkoun a number of instances and landed some sturdy elbows from the highest place — notably within the third spherical.
That was possible the distinction within the scores. In keeping with UFC stats, Malkoun banked over seven minutes of management time within the struggle — in contrast with 3:24 of management for Allen — however Allen landed greater than double the overall strikes.
“I felt I was more active and I was trying to hurt him,” Allen mentioned. “He was just hugging every time.”
Males’s bantamweight: Kyung Ho Kang (18-9 1 NC, 7-3 1 NC UFC) def. Batgerel Danaa (12-4, 3-3 UFC) by unanimous choice (Watch on ESPN+)
Kang’s nickname is “Mr. Perfect,” and the one query is whether or not it’s an homage to his piston jab or his relentless leg kicks. Each marked up and slowed down Danaa considerably as Kang pulled away for a transparent choice (29-28 on all three playing cards).
Kang, 34 and from South Korea, managed distance all through and weathered Danaa’s highly effective assaults. Kang, who additionally needed to take care of referee Thomas Fann basically ignoring what gave the impression to be an unlawful knee by Danaa in Spherical 2, has received 4 of his final 5 fights.
Danaa, a 32-year-old from Mongolia who trains at Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, fought properly early however was slowed by his opponent’s crisp and constant assaults. He turned determined afterward, flinging highly effective pictures that Kang might shortly evade as Danaa misplaced his second in a row.
Strawweight: Silvana Gomez Juarez (11-4, 1-2 UFC) def. Liang Na (19-6, 0-2 UFC) by TKO (Watch on ESPN+)
Silvana Gómez Juárez knocks out Liang Na with an unimaginable flurry of punches.
Gomez Juarez may need been preventing for her job, as she was winless coming on this weekend. She saved her spot on the UFC roster in about as emphatic a means as potential.
Gomez Juarez blasted Na with huge punches, placing her to sleep for a knockout victory at 1:22 of the primary spherical. It was Gomez Juarez’s first UFC victory. Gomez Juarez landed an overhand proper that put Na on her butt. Na obtained up, and Gomez landed a left hook that put Na down for good. Referee Steve Perceval shortly stepped in.
“So happy,” Gomez Juarez. “I dreamed about it. I visualized it.”
Gomez Juarez, 37, snapped a two-fight UFC dropping streak. The Argentina-born fighter, who lives and trains in Tijuana, Mexico, is a 12-year professional who has fought in locations like Poland, Brazil and Mexico earlier than getting a shot on the UFC. Na, a 25-year-old from China, has dropped two in a row and remains to be in search of her first UFC win.
Girls’s featherweight: Joselyne Edwards (11-4, 2-2 UFC) def. Ramona Pascual (6-4, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous choice (Watch on ESPN+)
Panama’s Edwards picked up her second win contained in the Octagon, behind a stable three-round effort over Pascual. Edwards defended all however certainly one of Pascual’s takedown makes an attempt, maintained distance on the toes and went to work together with her superior kickboxing en path to judges’ scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. In keeping with UFC Stats, Edwards out-landed Pascual in complete strikes, 150 to 64.
Pascual did have a second within the opening spherical when she damage Edwards with a left kick to the physique, adopted by a left head kick. Edwards survived, nonetheless, and went on to dominate the second and third rounds. She by no means had Pascual damage, however she expertly dictated vary and landed entrance kicks to the physique and leg kicks at will. She improved to 2-2 within the UFC with the win. This was her first UFC look at 145 kilos. Her earlier three occurred within the 135-pound bantamweight division.
Nonetheless to return:
(c) = defending champion