Weili Zhang was surprised that fight fans booed “poor” Carla Esparza at UFC 281 in New York: “I don’t know why. Maybe more fans like my fight style”

By Harry Kettle - November 22, 2022

Weili Zhang has admitted that she was surprised to hear fans booing Carla Esparza during their showdown at UFC 281.

Zhang Weili

Earlier this month at UFC 281, Weili Zhang regained the UFC strawweight championship. After a competitive first round, the Chinese sensation submitted Carla Esparza to become a two-time champ.

Zhang was clearly getting the better of the exchanges but at times, it definitely seemed as if Esparza was having her moments.

Alas, even through her efforts, Esparza wasn’t really getting much respect from the Madison Square Garden crowd. In fact, they were outright booing her at times.

Some have suggested that’s because of her previous title fight against Rose Namajunas. Either way, though, it felt harsh from the NYC faithful.

When asked about the reaction of the fans during an interview, Zhang had the following to say.

“Yes, I was so surprised,” Weili said. “I don’t know why. Maybe more fans like my fight style. I don’t know. Poor Carla.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

Esparza has always done a good job of keeping out of the ‘drama’ spotlight. Instead of focusing on how petty this game can sometimes be, she just wants to go out there and put on a show.

Zhang looks to the future

It’s unlikely that we’ll see an immediate rematch. If that does prove to be the case, it wouldn’t be outrageous to suggest Esparza should consider a trilogy fight against Namajunas.

Zhang, meanwhile, wants to prove that she belongs at the top of the division. If she can successfully defend the strap a few times, the sky is the limit.

Why do you think Carla Esparza was booed at UFC 281? Would you like to see the UFC run this fight back? Who will Weili Zhang defend the belt against first? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments, BJPENN Nation!

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Carla Esparza UFC Weili Zhang