Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang were both taken to hospital after their epic five-round war UFC 248.
Champion Zhang clung on to her strawweight belt after being given the nod by split decision following on the best fights in the promotion’s history.
Former champion Jedrzejczyk however was left disfigured by the punishment she took over the 25-minute battle.
“It doesn’t matter, I carry myself as a champ with the belt or without,” she said. “I was very proud of her, congrats Weili.”
The co-main event in Las Vegas took just seconds to ignite as both women looked for an early advantage.
Jedrzejczyk looked to weaken the champion’s legs early in the opening session while both were caught by heavy punches.
Zhang appeared hurt after the second session as she was helped back to her corner after being caught square in the jaw by her challenger’s kick.
But a straight right from the Chinese landed flush in the third round as Jedrzejczyk’s forehead began to swell up.
And Zhang continued to apply the pressure to the Pole’s head through the final 10 minutes to secure a narrow victory.
She was given the nod by two judges, 28-27, while the other scored it the same way for Jedrzejczyk.
The champion used her post-fight interview to offer her support to those suffering from coronavirus.
It took Zhang three weeks to travel from China to Las Vegas because of the virus with her journey including stopovers in Bangkok and Abu Dhabi.
“It took a long time to get here because of coronavirus in our country,” she said.
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