UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang is targeting a bout with Rose Namajunas.
Zhang is coming off a “Fight of the Year” candidate against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The two did battle in the co-main event of UFC 248 back in March. The bout went all five rounds and Zhang was awarded the split nod. This was Zhang’s first UFC strawweight title defense.
Zhang Calls For Namajunas Bout, Dana White Responds
Zhang spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and explained why she’d like to put her strawweight gold on the line against “Thug” Rose next.
“My preference is to fight Rose [Namajunas] because I believe she is the highest level and most-skilled martial artist outside of myself in the division. She would be a good challenge for me.”
UFC president Dana White ended up responding to Zhang’s comments and discussed what the future holds for Namajunas (via Brett Okamoto).
“Per Dana White, the fight he’s still trying to make for Rose is Jessica Andrade II. But he said he needs to talk to her personally and make sure she’s comfortable fighting under the current conditions.”
Namajunas was set to meet Andrade a second time at UFC 249. Namajunas ended up pulling out of the event due to COVID-19-related deaths in her family. When “Thug” rose returns, it appears she’d likely be just one win away from fighting for UFC gold again. Namajunas is a former strawweight champion.
Zhang’s next title challenger is unclear at this time. Tatiana Suarez is still on the sidelines due to neck issues and it’s unknown if an immediate rematch between Zhang and Jedrzejczyk is in the cards. Many believe that Andrade vs. Namajunas II could determine the next contender but as mentioned, the status of Namajunas’ return is up in the air.
Would you like to see Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas one day?