UFC women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang says that her “preference” is to fight Rose Namajunas in her next title defense at 115lbs.
Zhang is coming off of a split decision win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 in one of the best women’s MMA fights of all time. It was Zhang’s first title defense since winning the belt with a first-round TKO win over Jessica Andrade at UFC China last year. All told, Zhang is on a 21-fight win streak and is a perfect 5-0 while competing in the UFC.
Since the win over Jedrzejczyk, Zhang has been stuck in purgatory. Due to travel restrictions, she was forced to stay in Las Vegas a month after the Jedrzejczyk fight ended, and when she did get back to China, she was forced to quarantine herself for an additional two weeks. Zhang is now finally free from her quarantine and did an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, who asked her who she wants to fight next.
While in the past Zhang has expressed interest in fighting UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko in a superfight, Zhang is now targeting a fight against one of the top contenders at 115lbs in the form of Namajunas for her next fight.
The UFC strawweight champion wants Thug Rose next 🌹
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 28, 2020
“My preference is to fight Rose Namajunas because I believe she is the highest level and most-skilled martial artist outside of myself in the division. She would be a good challenge for me,” Zhang said.
Namajunas was set to fight Andrade at UFC 249 but pulled out of the fight after several of her family members died from the coronavirus. Whenever Namajunas is set to return, Zhang will be waiting to defend her belt against her. Given Zhang’s status as an international fighter, perhaps UFC Fight Island could home this future fight.
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