UFC women's strawweight champion Zhang Weili of China doesn't think the deadly coronavirus affecting areas of her country and beyond is something to laugh about.
On Tuesday, Joanna Jedrzejczyk posted an altered version of a UFC fight poster on her Instagram. Jedrzejczyk -- who will fight Zhang at UFC 248 on March 7 in Las Vegas -- was wearing a gas mask in the image, and she added laughing emojis to it.
The Instagram post was later deleted.
Zhang, the first Chinese UFC champion, responded to the meme Wednesday on Instagram.
"To make fun of tragedy is a true sign of ones character," Zhang wrote. "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."
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To make fun of tragedy is a true sign of ones character. 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.
More than 130 people have died and there are more than 6,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in mainland China, officials said. There are 91 confirmed cases outside of China, including at least five in the United States. The virus started in the Wuhan region of China.
Zhang and her team have not been affected, her representatives told MMAFighting.com.
Jedrzejczyk attempted to clarify her post with a message for Zhang on her Instagram stories Wednesday.
"Hey, champ, hey Weili, so sorry to make you feel bad, but I would never make fun of sick people with illness or virus," Jedrzejczyk said in a video. "So I didn't want you to get offended. But I just made fun of the funny internet meme. So, so sorry. Still, I will see you March 7. And don't get emotional, OK?"
Zhang (20-1) won the UFC women's strawweight title by beating Jessica Andrade via TKO last August in China. The 30-year-old is on a 20-fight winning streak and has not lost since 2013. Jedrzejczyk (16-3), the 32-year-old former champ, will be attempting to regain the title she lost against Rose Namajunas in 2017.