Great Britain

UFC’ Joanna Jedrzejczyk says ‘I looked like a zombie’ as she reveals her agony at swollen head injury

JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK reckons her brutal UFC fight with Zhang Weili left her looking like “a zombie”.

The Polish martial arts icon battled her way to the bitter end of a bruising Women’s Strawweight fight at UFC 248 back in March.

The encounter left her with a bloodied face and a forehead so massively swollen that she looked almost unrecognisable.

And the former Muay Thai boxer came away from the epic bout with an enormous haematoma.

Jedrzejczyk, who’s 32, recalls her sister having to help her shower before she spent the night in a Las Vegas hospital.

Jedrzejczyk, who's known as JJ, told BBC Sport: "One day I'll post pictures of how I looked.

"I was like 'holy moly. I looked like a zombie. It was so funny; some people didn't even recognise me."

Jedrzejczyk, a former strawweight champion who’s considered an MMA great, was looking to reclaim her crown from China’s first UFC title-holder Zhang Weili.

During their battle, which UFC boss Dana White dubbed as one of the best he’d ever seen, the Polish fghter's head began swelling in the third round.

The hard-punching pair held nothing back in a clash that left Weili with a closed right eye early on.

The rivals traded ferocious blows with the post-fight stats revealing they’d swapped 351 strikes in 25 minutes.

And Jedrzejczyk’s gruesome forehead injury looked so puffy that her physio was afraid it would pop!

However, the swelling miraculously healed within two days, along with the bruising in two weeks, leaving her with no permanent injury.

The Polish fighter added: "It could've scarred half my face.

"It was so painful. For a split-second, I questioned if I should stop, but I was still going forward.

"I knew I'd heal. I was more mad at myself because I wanted to have a few nice days in Vegas with my friends and family!

“But this is the price we pay. I've been doing this for 17 years so I know the game.

"I love to challenge myself. MMA's violent, but it's not just about smashing people. For me, it's about the sport, the competition, the respect."

Dana White confirms first UFC Fight Island event for June 27

Football news:

Alisson: the points Record was not Liverpool's goal. We are still Champions
Inter want to extend Sanchez's lease and are willing to pay extra for him to Manchester United if the clubs play in the Europa League final
Don't talk behind our backs, go out on the field and fight with us. Pep's possible appeal to Jose, Klopp and the world
Robertson Pro 1:2 with Arsenal: the Result is disappointing. But next week, the 30-year wait will end!
Bruno Fernandes: Ronaldo is the most technical player I have seen
Solskjaer on Chelsea: They have 48 hours more rest before the Cup semi-final. It's not fair
Bayer wants about 100 million euros for Havertz. He will not be released until the end of the Europa League draw