Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s Coronavirus Joke Made Weili Zhang ‘Really Angry’

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Zhang Thinks Cultural Difference Was Reason For Joke

Women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang was not pleased whatsoever at UFC 248 opponent Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s joke about the coronavirus back in late January.

Jedrzejczyk posted an image in her Instagram story of a fan poster with herself wearing a gas mask next to Zhang. The implication being the Polish star didn’t want to contract the virus from Zhang, who hails from China which is where the outbreak originated and has since led to 95,000 cases worldwide. Jedrzejczyk promptly deleted the story afterwards.

Zhang initially responded in a classy manner to the highly ill-advised joke, though she did question the former champion’s character in the process. Jedrzejczyk, meanwhile, apologized to “Magnum” and told her not to get emotional.

Just over a month on from the post, Zhang revealed how she really felt about it.

“I was really angry about that especially since she’s making jokes about the outbreak, and making jokes about our nation, our country,” Zhang told the media ahead of UFC 248. “Because a lot of people died from this coronavirus, a lot of families lost their family members, lots of kids lost their parents and became orphans. It’s a very tragic moment for all the Chinese people, but not only the Chinese people, but for people all around the world. And she’s making jokes on that? It really, really made me irritated.

“It’s probably because of the cultural difference. In Chinese culture, we don’t laugh at people who are suffering. We help them, we help them up, we build them up. But I don’t know about her. I’m really angry about it.”

If the Chinese champion needed any more motivation to defeat Jedrzejczyk and defend her crown, she certainly got it.

The pair will collide for the women’s strawweight title in the co-main event of UFC 248 this Saturday in Las Vegas.

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