Last week, news broke that UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade would make her first title defense against lesser-known contender Weili Zhang in China.
The announcement was met with surprise from some and doubt from others. Many believed former champ Rose Namajunas was deserving of an immediate rematch. She was indeed defeating Andrade in the early rounds at May’s UFC 237. Namajunas was ultimately finished by a knockout slam, however, and needed more time to recover from injuries. Surging strawweight Tatiana Suarez was believed by many to be the clear next in line if “Thug Rose” wasn’t able due to her recent win streak.
So the UFC went with Zhang, who is riding a three-fight win streak, for the main event of August 31’s ESPN+-aired event from Shenzen, China. With the UFC breaking into the Chinese market, the two faced off from Shanghai earlier today. Dana White posted a photo of the faceoff on his Instagram account:
As he often does, White then went off on the several critics of the booking in the comments section. The fight is quickly becoming quite a polarizing one, yet it’s not all that surprising to see the promotion want a Chinese fighter to compete in the main event of their foray into the market.
No other bouts have been announced for UFC Shenzen as of this writing.
Are you excited to see Andrade vs. Zhang – or critical of the polarizing booking?