Saturday, January 22, 2022

Zhang Weili Agrees With Judges’ Decision In Namajunas Rematch

Former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili agrees with the judges’ verdict at UFC 268, which saw Rose Namajunas retain her title by way of a split decision.

In 2021, Zhang has seen the 115-pound gold taken from her possession, her 21-fight win streak snapped, and has fallen to consecutive losses for the first time in her career. Her kryptonite has been the only woman in UFC history to regain a belt, “Thug Rose.”

After a shocking first-round knockout at UFC 261 in April dethroned “Magnum” and ascended Namajunas back to the top of the strawweight mountain, the stage was set for a blockbuster rematch inside Madison Square Garden on November 6.

Across a competitive five rounds, both women had moments of success on the feet and periods of control on the ground. The first half of the contest went well for the challenger, but Namajunas came on strong in the championship rounds. After 25 minutes of action, the result went to the scorecards, where the champ saw two tallies of 49-46 and 48-47 fall in her favor.

Zhang Sees No Controversy In UFC 268 Result

After their first contest ended with a brutal head kick and a flurry of punches on the ground, Zhang strongly protested referee Keith Peterson’s decision to step in. While she may have seen some controversy in that result, “Magnum” knows there was none the second time around.

Discussing the rematch in an interview with Migu, the Chinese star admitted she agreed with the decision to award Namajunas the win, citing her fading cardio in the fifth round as the reason she couldn’t regain her title.

“I think yes, I agree with (the decision). Because I did have cardio issues in the last round. It came down to the last round to determine a winner. This was very important.” (h/t South Morning China Post)

Zhang’s next step is uncertain. While she’s targeting a clash with the surging former champ Carla Esparza, most, including Namajunas, believe “Cookie Monster” has done enough to earn a title shot.

If Namajunas and Esparza do run it back, “Magnum” could feature in a rematch of her own with Joanna Jędrzejczyk. The Polish star has set her sights on a return to the Octagon in March or April 2022, and while she’s keen to fight for gold, recently said she won’t wait for the champion if she isn’t ready.

How did you score Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili 2 at UFC 268?

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