Chinese powerhouse Zhang outgunned former strawweight queen Jedrzejczyk over five punishing rounds in their title fight in Las Vegas on March 7, earning a split decision win on the scorecards.
Both fighters left with significant war wounds, although Jedrzejczyk’s injuries were most notable as she suffered huge swelling to her head which rendered her barely unrecognisable.
The pair were sent to hospital as precaution after the bout and were later discharged without significant injuries.
Zhang has now detailed the time they spent there, saying that she “felt bad” for the tearful Pole as she nursed her head injury.
“After the match, Joanna and I, we both met at the hospital. We arrived at the hospital almost at the same time. There was just a curtain between us,” Zhang is quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.
“She kept crying for hours. I felt very sad. I especially wanted to comfort her. But the language barrier, I can only tell her, ‘Good job! You did very well. You are very good’.
“Then she kept crying, covering her head. And I feel very sad, to be honest. Although she was disrespectful to me before. But I saw her injury while crying. I felt bad for her,” Zhang added.
There was bad blood in the build-up to the fight after Jedrzejczyk shared a post on social media appearing to mock the coronavirus outbreak, although that was firmly laid to rest in the octagon as the paid served up an instant classic.
Chinese strawweight champ Zhang – who is on an incredible 20-fight unbeaten run – said Jedrzejczyk had acted like a true “warrior” after the brutal bout.
“When she left [hospital] – I am waiting for the examination – when she left, she told me this, and I was particularly moved. She said: ‘Keep defending and I will watch you. It will get harder and harder’.
“I almost shed tears. At that time, I felt the warrior should be like this,” Zhang said.
Jedrzejczyk has since revealed she will undergo surgery in Poland – although said the swelling on her head was “much better” and “nothing serious.”
She reiterated to TMZ her desire to run it back with Zhang after their initial barnstormer was widely hailed as the greatest ever in women’s MMA.
“Of course, let’s rock and roll again, let’s dance again,” Jedrzejczyk said.