Dana White: UFC looking to do Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas in Asia

Nolan King
·2 min read

UFC women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili hasn’t fought since UFC 248 in March 2020, leaving many wondering when her next title defense will be.

The UFC is planning for Weili (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) vs. former champion Rose Namajunas (9-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) to happen sometime in 2021. However, in a recent interview with UFC broadcast partner ESPN, White revealed the promotion isn’t looking to hold the fight in Las Vegas or Abu Dhabi – but instead, somewhere in Asia.

“We’re working on her, too,” White said of Weili. “Obviously, the fight everybody wants to see is her and Rose. Hopefully we can get that done. If not, the next one in line would probably be Carla Esparza. We’re looking to do that fight this year – and in Asia.”

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the UFC has only held events in Jacksonville, Fla.; Las Vegas; and Abu Dhabi. Since May 2020, they’ve only been in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.

Weili became the UFC’s first Chinese champion when she finished Jessica Andrade with strikes in 42 seconds in August 2019. In her first title defense at UFC 248, Weili defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a back-and-forth battle that resulted in a split decision victory for her. Weili vs. Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 earned MMA Junkie’s 2020 “Fight of the Year” award.

In July, Namajunas returned from a 14-month absence. At UFC 251, Namajunas avenged a previous loss when she defeated Jessica Andrade in a “Fight of the Night” bonus-earning split decision victory.

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MMA Junkie's 2020 'Fight of the Year': Weili vs. Jedrzejczyk, the GOAT of women's fights