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UFC 261: Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas Fight Preview and Breakdown

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April 25th, the time is nearly upon us before we witness a very stacked card in UFC 261, headlined by champion Kamaru Usman defending his title against fourth-ranked contender Jorge Masvidal. Featuring legendary wars in the making such as Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas. However, The main and co-main aren’t the only mouth-watering matchups on the card, as UFC 261 contains a trilogy of title fights.

In a matchup for the ages, we will finally get to see the UFC women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang defend her coveted belt against the former holder Rose Namajunas. Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas is set to be the co-main event of the well-anticipated UFC 261.

Bad Blood

In recent weeks, we have seen some increasing bad blood between Namajunas and Zhang. This was due to Namajunas aiming some rather derogatory comments at Zhang’s home country of China, stating “Better dead than red”.

If Namajunas is stating these comments to get inside Zhang’s head, remember that recently, this wasn’t a very successful game plan for Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Employing similar tactics in the build up of their historic fight of the year, we saw Zhang coming out victorious via split decision, and Jędrzejczyk visually transformed with some of the worst cases of hematoma seen in MMA history.

One thing is for sure, this atlercation is just going to add even more to this fight of the year prospect. Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas is a guaranteed all out action, especially with the clash of their respective styles.

Fight Style

What makes Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas such an exciting matchup is the fighting styles that both women bring to the octagon; so much tenacity and fearlessness.

Weili Zhang (21-1) likes to start her fights with outside leg kicks to find her range. We saw her employ these tactics successfully both against Jędrzejczyk and Jéssica Andrade. Note that these names are also recent opponents for Namajunas.

When the range is found, Zhang is happy to walk down her opponent while also willing to absorb punishment in the process. These she does to find the space she needs to punish her opponent with devastating strikes and sublime submission skills.

Rose Namajunas (9-4) on the other hand is happy to immediately fly out of the blocks. As we saw in her first round finishes over Jędrzejczyk and Angela Hill, she appears to catch her opponents off-guard, where her opponents did not expect her to.

However, this hasn’t always been successful for Namajunas though. We saw in her devastating KO loss that she could also be in the bad end of exchanges. Jéssica Andrade caught Namajunas off-guard and dropped her on her head in a very sickening finish.

Between both women, it is Rose Namajunas who is more than competent with her striking and submission skills, she also is the better technical striker. On the other hand, it is Weili Zhang who is just relentless and powerful in the standup. She overwhelms her opponents with volume and throw at different parts of the body, keeping them thinking what’s next.

Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas Prediction

While this fight between Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas has the potential fight of the year recognition written all over it, I feel that this will be a short night. As we have saw in previous attempts in playing mind games with Zhang, she doesn’t take them too kindly.

I see an early finish in this fight. Zhang will be able to employ her opening tactics, causing frustration for Namajunas and forcing her into a mistake giving Weili Zhang the win and retaining her Women’s Strawweight Championship.

Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas Prediction: Weili Zhang 2nd Round Submission (Armbar)

Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts on how Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas will end, are you Team Zhang or Team Namajunas and what will be next for both these women?


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James Rees is a Football, F1 and MMA writer, who strives to bring you the best content aswel as bringing you interviews with some of the sports top stars.