Zhang Upset At Joanna, Challenger Apologizes

What started out as something meant to be a joke has led to some tension between UFC Strawweight Champion Weili Zhang and Joanna Jędrzejczyk.

Challenging Weili for the title on March 7 at UFC 248, Joanna (16-3) shared an image on her Instagram story relating to the deadly coronavirus. The photo shows Joanna wearing a gas mask, playing off of the contagious element of the disease that started in China and has made it into the United States.

According to the latest from CNN, 6,000 people worldwide have been infected globally, with Al Jazeera stating the death toll from the virus is at 132.

Zhang (20-1) responded to Joanna sharing the post on her own Instagram account. She was not amused like Joanna was.

“To make fun of tragedy is a true sign of ones character,” Zhang stated. “People are dying, someones father, someones mother, someones child. Say what you want about me if it makes you feel stronger but do not joke about what’s happening here. I wish you good health until March 7th. I will see you soon.”

One of the most dominant strawweight fighters in MMA, Joanna held onto the title from 2015-2017. She is known for playing mind games with people, not afraid of providing mental jabs. She questioned the mental health of Rose Namajunas at one point, who ended up beating her for the title at UFC 217.

Joanna ended up apologizing to Zhang on her Instagram story. She did not mean for the sharing of the post to affect her as much as it did.

“Hey champ, hey Weili. So sorry to make you feel bad, but I would never make fun of sick people of illness or virus,” Joanna went on to say. “I don’t want you to get offended, but I just made fun of the funny internet meme. So sorry, but still, I will see you on March 7th.”

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