In just 42 seconds, Weili Zhang captured the UFC strawweight title, became the first Chinese champion in UFC history, and became one of the brightest young stars in MMA.
In fact, her abrupt TKO victory over the former champion Jessica Andrade was so impressive that it earned praise from a number of huge celebrities from outside the MMA bubble — and from many inside it.
See some of the best celebrity reactions — including comments from Dwayne Johnson and Tom Brady — below (via @UFC on Instagram):
“Congrats champ,” Johnson wrote in the replies on a UFC instagram post.
“Congrats Weili Zhang,” Brady wrote in his Instagram story.
In addition to this praise from stars like Dwayne Johnson and Tom Brady, Weili Zhang also earned some very positive feedback from UFC President Dana White.
“Weili told me tonight that she wants to fight as much as possible, which I love,” White said of Zhang (via MMAFighting). “And I can tell you this going into this fight with Jessica Andrade, nobody wanted to fight Weili Zhang. Nobody wanted to fight her. Now she’s the champion, so if you want a shot at that belt, you have to fight her.”
White also commented on what could be next for the new strawweight champ.
“I don’t know if they’re all taking time off right now. Rose (Namajunas) is definitely taking time off,” he said, pumping the brakes on a possible Namajunas vs. Zhang matchup. “Rose got slammed on her head and wanted to take some time off after that, which is understandable. The other girls are all fighting, there’s other fights happening right now and as they play out it will determine what’s next for Weili.”
With her victory over Jessica Andrade, Weili Zhang improved to a fantastic 20-1 overall. Her last five wins have occurred under the UFC banner.
What do you think is next for this rapidly rising UFC star?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/1/2019.