Weili Zhang
Getting shot at strawweight title
June 11, 2019
Zhang will take on UFC Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade in the main event of UFC Shenzen on Aug. 31, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Zhang has impressed in her first trio of UFC fights, taking home convincing victories to persuade matchmakers that she's earned a shot at the belt. She has yet to be taken down during her time with the promotion, and lands over three signficant strikes per minute more than she absorbs, resulting in an official striking differential of 3.32. Zhang will have the crowd behind her in her native China, in addition to height and reach advantages. Even with those factors in her favor, Andrade is by far the toughest opponent Zhang has seen today, and it could even be argued that this is too much, too soon for the No. 6-ranked contender. Through 15 UFC fights across multiple weight classes, Andrade has been able to keep up tremendous offensive volume, landing 6.55 significant strikes per minute. She also manages 3.22 takedowns per 15 minutes, which will represent a major challenge to Zhang's perfect takedown defense. While this fight will do wonders for the growth of the sport in China, look for Andrade to enter as a relatively heavy betting favorite.
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Passes biggest test of career at UFC 235
March 2, 2019
Zhang defeated Tecia Torres via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC 235 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Torres isn't a star, but this was by far the most difficult test of Zhang's career and she passed it with flying colors. Zhang limited Torres's time and space en route to a 137-21 edge in total strikes landed. Zhang is remarkably calm and composed inside the octagon for a woman with little experience against top competition. Zhang has legitimate power and a clue on the mat. Her ceiling is very high. Zhang has won 19 fights in a row since dropping her professional debut in November 2013.
Taking on Tecia Torres
January 7, 2019
Zhang will face Tecia Torres at UFC 235 in Las Vegas on March 2, MMAFighting.com reports.
Zhang has won both of her fights since joining the UFC, stretching her career professional record to 18-1. She most recently defeated Jessica Aguilar by submission in the first round of UFC Fight Night 141 in November. Her opponent, Torres, will be looking to bounce back from a run of two straight losses.
Stops former WSOF champion
November 24, 2018
Weili defeated Jessica Aguilar via submission (armbar) at 3:41 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night 141 on Saturday in Beijing, China.
Weili had a very impressive performance against the former WSOF champion. She scored a takedown early in the fight, and she went to work on the ground. Weili opened up Agular on the ground with elbows. As she transitioned to the mount, Aguilar tried to escape. However, Weili used the opportunity to lock in a triangle choke, and she continued to land elbows. Eventually she transitioned into an armbar and finished the fight.
Tabbed for matchup with Aguilar at UFC Beijing
September 24, 2018
Zhang will face off with Jessica Aguilar in a strawweight matchup at UFC Beijing on Nov. 24, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.
Zhang won her first UFC match back in August, and she'll have quite the test in her return to China. The veteran Aguilar has been fighting since 2006 and has 20 match victories under her belt, though most of her wins have come via decision. On the other hand, Zhang has won 17 consecutive fights and has won almost all her fights either by submission or KO/TKO. This is a good test for the up-and-coming UFC strawweight prospect.
Makes UFC debut with decision victory
August 4, 2018
Zhang defeated Danielle Taylor via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 227 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Zhang came into this fight with a lot of hype after dominating competition in her native China. She easily won this fight with her striking, but she did not really have a chance to put away Taylor. Zhang had a seriously reach advantage, and she landed basically at will. This was an impressive performance, but she will certainly face fighters tougher than Taylor.