Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas is signed and scheduled to headline UFC 261, on April 24. In a UFC championship doubleheader, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Schevchenko will also defend her title when she takes on a fearsome challenger in Jessica Andrade. The UFC announced the Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas fight in an official capacity on March 8th, however, it has been rumored to be in the works for months.
The Road to Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas
Weili Zhang (21-1, 5-0 UFC) is the first-ever Chinese UFC champion in history. Blazing her way through some of the strawweight divisions finest on her path to a UFC title shot, she added three more wins to her stunning streak to make it 19 straight leading into her fight with Andrade at UFC on ESPN+ 15.
To earn her 20th consecutive victory, Zhang would finish Andrade via TKO just 42 seconds into the fight to firmly etch her name into the lore of Chinese MMA history as the first champion of her people. Defending the belt for the first time against Poland’s first-ever champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Zhang would go on to be one half of what was hands down 2020’s Fight of the Year. Making it 21 wins in a row, Zhang would continue to elevate her legacy with a decision win over Joanna, bringing us full circle on the road to Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas.
Rose Namajunas (9-4, 7-2 UFC) has always been a fan-favorite ever since her gigantic upset over Joanna at UFC 217 that flipped the world on it’s axis. Running it back at UFC 223, Namajunas would again come away with the victory over Joanna via decision this time, and fully legitimize her reign as champion. Here enters our recurring antagonist, Andrade. Who channeled her inner Rampage Jackson at UFC 237 with a slam that would leave Thug Rose seemingly lifeless.
Namajunas would take a year off after this crushing defeat, before returning to action at UFC 251 to rematch Andrade. Winning this time, via decision. So, once again we have come full circle on our road to Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas! Does Thug Rose reclaim the title she once shocked the world to gain? Or does Zhang make it an astounding 22 wins in a row at UFC 261?
As of the writing of this article, the Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas fight is scheduled to headline UFC 261. The order of bouts could get changed, and fights added or cancelled, but this is the current UFC 261 lineup below:
- Strawweight: Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas
- Women’s Flyweight: Valentina Schevchenko vs Jessica Andrade
- Middleweight: Chris Weidman vs Uriah Hall
- Light Heavyweight: Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute
- Bantamweight: Danaa Batgerel vs Kevin Natividad
- Middleweight: Brendan Allen vs Karl Roberson
- Flyweight: Jeff Molina vs Qileng Aori
- Bantamweight: Johnny Munoz Jr vs Mark Striegl
- Strawweight: Ariane Carnelossi vs Na Liang
Leave your predictions for the Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas fight down below in the comments.
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