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Twitter reacts to Rose Namajunas' title-winning KO of Zhang Weili at UFC 261
Rose Namajunas became a two time UFC champion on Saturday when she dethroned Zhang Weili in the UFC 261 co-headliner. After losing the belt in May 2019, Namajunas (10-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) got her hands on the strawweight strap when she beat Weili (21-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) by first-round knockout in the...Read Full Story
If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.comMMA JunkieNamajunasRose Namajunas'UFCVyStar Veterans Memorial ArenaZhang Weili
"Do we know exactly what she believes?" - Rose Namajunas doesn't think Weili Zhang has freedom of thought
Former UFC women's strawweight champion Rose Namajunas recently set the MMA community abuzz with her comments about current UFC women's strawweight champion Weili Zhang.
Namajunas recently shed light upon the Lithuanian people's struggles against communism and their oppression when Lithuania was a part of the Soviet Union (USSR aka Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
She revealed that she draws inspiration from "The Other Dream Team", a sports documentary highlighting Lithuania's fight against communism. Namajunas notably stated that one of the motivating factors in her upcoming fight against Zhang is what the latter represents.
The belief is that Namajunas was referring to the country Zhang hails from, which is China, aka the People's Republic of China (PRC), which has been a communist nation since 1949.
On an episode of ESPN MMA's Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, Helwani claimed that Weili Zhang has never publicly revealed her political views. Helwani suggested that some people believe Rose Namajunas shouldn't have spoken about Zhang's personal political beliefs, as Zhang herself has never been vocal about the same.
Rose Namajunas responded:
“Yes, that is true. And I don’t know what her beliefs are. But here’s the thing, it’s that, and this is a question maybe that we should ask her or whatever. But can we really even know what she actually believes? And from my experience, or not from my experience, but, you know, she may be being told what to say. You know, I don’t know, and do we know exactly what she believes?”
Ariel Helwani once again claimed that Weili Zhang hasn’t publicly expressed her political views. Helwani then asked Rose Namajunas if she regrets her recent "better dead than red" comments against communism. Namajunas replied:
“No. Yeah, I mean, for me, and from my experience, you know, being in with communism, like, from what I know is that you can’t freely have an opinion. You can’t criticize your government. I can talk about America, and how imperfect it is, and how there’s just a lot of things messed up about us, and stuff like that. And I’m very grateful for that freedom to do so.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Following the communist takeover of mainland China in 1949, the country gained a reputation for enforcing rigorous adherence to the principles of communism and communism-based nationalism among its citizens.
Criticism of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is allowed, but only to a certain extent, as criticism deemed anti-communist and/or anti-national could land an individual behind bars. Furthermore, communist China has also time and again been condemned for its alleged human rights violations.
The ongoing Uyghur genocide, atrocities against the Tibetan people, state-sponsored terrorism (sponsoring terrorist groups in other countries), and border disputes with neighboring countries like Japan and India are a few outstanding issues facing China.
A lack of freedom of thought and expression, enforced disappearances, human trafficking, and organ harvesting are also problems that China has lately come under the scanner for.
Rose Namajunas aims to regain UFC gold by beating China’s Weili Zhang
Rose Namajunas lost her UFC women’s strawweight title to Jessica Andrade, who then dropped the title to Weili Zhang. Namajunas subsequently avenged her loss to Andrade and is now set to fight Zhang.
The UFC 261 (April 24, 2021) card features three title fights, one of which will witness Weili Zhang put her UFC women’s strawweight title on the line against Rose Namajunas. Thug Rose has emphasized that she truly believes she has what it takes to beat Zhang and reclaim UFC gold.
UFC 261: Rose Namajunas wins strawweight title with incredible first round knockout of Zhang Weili
"She's upset, but she was out."
That was Joe Rogan's summation of 'Thug' Rose Namajunas' stunning first round knockout win over Zhang Weili for the strawweight title at UFC 261
Namajunas landed a beautiful left kick to Weili's chin 75 seconds into the bout.
The champion dropped to the mat and Namajunas finished her off with ground and pound.
Still stunned after the stoppage, Weili stumbled sideways after getting back to her feet.
Furious at the stoppage, she remonstrated with her corner and pushed referee Keith Petersen away.
Speaking afterwards, Weili maintained she felt she was good to keep fighting.
"She said she's still conscious." Weili said through and interpreter.
"The referee stopped it a little bit early."
Namajunas, who becomes the first two-time strawweight UFC champion, said she felt the stoppage was justified.
The American first won the 115-pound title with a first round knockout win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2017. She defended the title in a rematch but relinquished the title in a shock defeat to Jessica Andrade courtesy of a knockout slam.
Andrade's title reign only lasted three months before she was stopped inside one round by Weili, who defended the belt in a Fight of the Year against Jedrzejczyk in 2020.
Twitter weili zhang
Chinese MMA fighter
In this Chinese name, the family name is Zhang.
Zhang Weili (Chinese: 张伟丽; pinyin: Zhāng Wěilì; born August 13, 1989) is a Chinese mixed martial artist. She is the former Kunlun Fight (KLF) strawweight champion and competes in the strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she is a former UFC Women's Strawweight World Champion. She is the first ever Chinese and East Asian champion in UFC history. As of April 26, 2021, she is #1 UFC women's strawweight rankings and she is #4 in UFC women's pound-for-pound rankings.
Zhang was born in Handan, Hebei, China. Her father is a retired mine digger, and her mother is a housewife. She has one older brother, who quit his job as a gold trader to support Zhang's career, and now works at the gym where she trains.
She started training in martial arts at a young age, beginning at 6 with Shaolin Kung Fu under the tutelage of a local master, after she was inspired by Kung Fu films. In primary school, she practiced many sports including athletics, football and table tennis. When she was 12, her parents sent her to a specialized martial arts school in Handan where she began training in Sanda and a Chinese style of wrestling called Shuai Jiao. After winning Sanda championships of the Hebei province multiple times, she was selected for the Jiangsu province Sanda team, however a recurring back injury sustained in training forced her to quit the sport early.
At the age of 17 she moved to Beijing, where she worked various odd jobs: cashier at a supermarket, kindergarten teacher, security guard and hotel desk clerk. In 2010 she found a job at a local Beijing gym as a fitness instructor, and was allowed to use their equipment for free after the gym closed in the evenings. During that time she would also pick up Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) after watching others grappling there. She later switched to a front desk job, through which she got to know fighters who trained at the gym, one of them being her idol Wu Haotian, a pioneer of Chinese MMA. After they became acquainted in 2012, Haotian brought her to Black Tiger Fight Club. There, she was noticed by coach Cai Xuejun, who recognized her potential and started training her in MMA.
In a Chinese television show in December 2019, she mentioned that Hong Kong Action Superstar Donnie Yen was her inspiration to compete in MMA, and that Donnie Yen's 2007 feature film Flashpoint was her first introduction to the sport of MMA. She also credited Ronda Rousey, and particularly her fight with Liz Carmouche in 2013, as giving her the motivation to quit her job and pursue MMA full-time.
Mixed martial arts career
Zhang made her professional MMA debut in 2013. After losing her professional debut to Meng Bo by unanimous decision, she would go on to win 11 straight fights before challenging Simone Duarte for the Kunlun Fight Female Strawweight Championship on May 25, 2017, at Kunlun Fight MMA 11. She won the fight via TKO in the second round.
Zhang made her first title defense against Aline Sattelmayer on June 1, 2017, at Kunlun Fight MMA 12. She won the fight by unanimous decision.
On July 22, 2017, Zhang attempted to win a second title, when she challenged Seo Ye-dam (서예담) for the vacant Top FC Strawweight Championship at TOP FC 15. She won the fight via TKO in the second round to capture the title.
In her next bout, Zhang made her second KLF title defense on August 28, 2017, at Kunlun Fight MMA 14 against Marilia Santos. She won the fight via TKO in the second round.
Zhang would fight one more time for KLF, amassing a record of 16-1 and improving her winning streak to 16 before signing with the UFC.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Zhang made her promotion debut on August 4, 2018, at UFC 227 against Danielle Taylor. She won the fight via unanimous decision.
On November 24, 2018, Zhang faced Jessica Aguilar at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2. She won the fight via a submission in round one.
Zhang faced Tecia Torres on March 3, 2019, at UFC 235. She won the fight via unanimous decision.
UFC Strawweight Champion
Zhang faced Jéssica Andrade for the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship on August 31, 2019, at UFC on ESPN+ 15. She won the fight via first-round technical knockout to become the new Strawweight champion. The win also earned Zhang her first Performance of the Night bonus award.
In the first defense of her title, Zhang was scheduled to face former UFC Strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk on March 7, 2020, at UFC 248. Zhang moved her training camp from China to Thailand and later moved to Dubai due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as TSA rules stated a two-week quarantine was imposed for any non-US citizen be granted entry to the United States if they had recently been in China. After multiple failed attempts to obtain a US visa to fight in UFC's events in the US, on February 19, 2020, Zhang was granted US visa to fight at UFC 248. Zhang won the back–and–forth fight via split decision, which marked her first successful UFC Strawweight title defense. This win also marked her first Fight of the Night award. This bout was considered by many pundits as the greatest fight in women's MMA history.
In the second defense of her title, Zhang faced Rose Namajunas on April 24, 2021, at UFC 261. She lost the fight by knockout early in the first round after getting caught with a head kick.
A rematch between Zhang and Namajunas for UFC Women's Strawweight Championship is scheduled on November 6, 2021 at UFC 268.
In May 2020, it was announced that Zhang became a brand ambassador for cosmetics brand Estée Lauder in China, and was chosen as a face of their new makeup line Double Wear. In the same year, she appeared in a commercial for Audi. In 2021, she was named a global ambassador for recovery technology company Hyperice. She also had endorsement deals with clothing brands Under Armour and Heilan Home, e-commerce company JingDong and alcoholic beverage company Wusu Beer.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|23 matches||21 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||21–2||Rose Namajunas||KO (head kick)||UFC 261||April 24, 2021||1||1:18||Jacksonville, Florida, United States||Lost the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||21–1||Joanna Jędrzejczyk||Decision (split)||UFC 248||March 7, 2020||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||20–1||Jéssica Andrade||TKO (knees and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang||August 31, 2019||1||0:42||Shenzhen, China||Won the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||19–1||Tecia Torres||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 235||March 2, 2019||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||18–1||Jessica Aguilar||Submission (armbar)||UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2||November 24, 2018||1||3:41||Beijing, China|
|Win||17–1||Danielle Taylor||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 227||August 4, 2018||3||5:00||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||16–1||Bianca Sattelmayer||Submission (armbar)||Kunlun Fight MMA 15||October 3, 2017||1||3:29||Seoul, South Korea||Catchweight (119 lb) bout.|
|Win||15–1||Marilia Santos||TKO (elbows)||Kunlun Fight MMA 14||August 28, 2017||2||3:20||Yantai, China||Defended the Kunlun Fight Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||14–1||Ye Dam Seo||TKO (elbow and punches)||Top FC 15||July 22, 2017||2||1:35||Seoul, South Korea||Won the vacant Top FC Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||13–1||Aline Sattelmayer||Decision (unanimous)||Kunlun Fight MMA 12||June 1, 2017||3||5:00||Yantai, China||Defended the Kunlun Fight Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||12–1||Simone Duarte||TKO (punches)||Kunlun Fight MMA 11||May 25, 2017||1||2:29||Jining, China||Won the Kunlun Fight Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||11–1||Nayara Hemily||Submission (guillotine choke)||Kunlun Fight MMA 9||February 25, 2017||1||0:41||Sanya, China|
|Win||10–1||Veronica Grenno||TKO (knees to the body)||Kunlun Fight MMA 8||January 2, 2017||1||1:50||Sanya, China|
|Win||9–1||Karla Benitez||KO (punch)||Kunlun Fight MMA 7||December 15, 2016||1||2:15||Beijing, China||Defended the Kunlun Fight Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||8–1||Maíra Mazar||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Kunlun Fight 53||September 24, 2016||1||4:11||Beijing, China||Won the vacant Kunlun Fight Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||7–1||Emi Fujino||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Kunlun Fight 49||August 7, 2016||2||2:51||Tokyo, Japan||Return to Strawweight.|
|Win||6–1||Liliya Kazak||KO (head kick)||Kunlun Fight 47||July 10, 2016||2||4:13||Nanjing, China|
|Win||5–1||Alice Ardelean||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Kunlun Fight MMA 5 / Top FC 11||May 22, 2016||2||4:41||Seoul, South Korea||Flyweight debut.|
|Win||4–1||Svetlana Gotsyk||TKO (punches)||Kunlun Fight 38 / Super Muaythai 2016||February 21, 2016||2||2:29||Pattaya, Thailand|
|Win||3–1||Samantha Jean-Francois||TKO (punches)||Kunlun Fight 35||December 19, 2015||1||3:37||Luoyang, China|
|Win||2–1||Mei Huang||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Chinese Kung Fu Championships||October 27, 2014||1||0:40||China||Catchweight (132 lb) bout.|
|Win||1–1||Shuxia Wu||Submission (armbar)||Chinese Kung Fu Championships||April 17, 2014||1||1:56||China||Catchweight (132 lb) bout.|
|Loss||0–1||Meng Bo||Decision (unanimous)||China MMA League||November 9, 2013||2||5:00||Xuchang, China||Strawweight debut.|
|Professional record breakdown|
|4 matches||2 wins||2 losses|
Zhang Weili received a Hawaiian lei and crown from Hawaiian Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
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MMA Twitter had an absolute field day with Weili Zhang, Rose Namajunas’ UFC 261 presser outfits (Photo)
MMA Twitter had an absolute field day with Weili Zhang, Rose Namajunas’ UFC 261 presser outfits.
Usually, the talk of the town after a big UFC pay-per-view event is a bit of trash talk, or perhaps a fight announcement of something funny a fighter said. But on Thursday, following the UFC 261 press conference all people could talk about were the outfits that the co-main event fighters were wearing.
Take a look at what some of the fans and media on Twitter were saying.
The challenger to the strawweight title, Rose Namajunas, arrived in1990’s inspired denim overalls while the champion, China’s Weili Zhang showed up in a dark wash denim jacket. And we could not handle it.
The UFC 261 press conference took place in Jacksonville, FL and featured the first event with fans since the pandemic started. The event is hosting three back-to-back title fights with the welterweight, strawweight and flyweight titles on the line.
UFC 261 takes place on Saturday, April 24, 2021, live from the VyStar Arena in Jacksonville, FL. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.
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Rose Namajunas defeats Weili Zhang in disappointing night for Chinese fighters at UFC 261
Weili Zhang suffered a shock knockout loss to Rose Namajunas at UFC 261. It was a defeat that capped a miserable night for the Chinese contingent as they went 0-4.
Having not lost an MMA fight since her pro debut in 2013, Zhang came into this one as the favourite. But Namajunas had other ideas.
The American produced a stunning left head kick in the first round to leave the champion on her back. With Zhang lying flat on the canvas, Namajunas wasted no time in pouncing to land a flurry of hammer fists that finished the fight at the 1:18 mark.
Zhang relinquishes the belt having successfully defended it on just one occasion, against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248. This time she came up short against the former champion, and the 31-year-old believed it was an early stoppage, saying,
“I feel I can come back real big. I was still conscious and thought the referee stopped the fight early.”
Zhang drops to 21-2 after seeing her incredible 21 fight, eight year winning streak snapped. Namajunas improves to 10-4 with her second straight UFC win.
Night to remember
While the Chinese fighters were all beaten it was a night to remember for Mongolian bantamweight Danaa Batgerel (9-2). He needed less than a minute to finish Kevin Natividad (9-3), making it back to back first round stoppage wins.
As Natividad charged forwards Batgerel countered with a front kick and a right hook. Neither found their mark but he followed it up with a left hook that knocked the American out cold at the 0:50 mark.
Lightweight veteran Kazula Vargas (12-4) scored a unanimous decision over Rong Zhu (17-4). The Chinese fighter was the youngest of the three UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai representatives making their promotional debuts on the card.
The 21-year-old was on the end of a tight guillotine in the second round but managed to survive. The youngster looked confident throughout and even decided to showboat on occasion, but he was ultimately outclassed by the veteran who did enough to convince all three judges.
Fight of the Night
Qileng Aori (18-8) dropped a unanimous decision to Jeff Molina (9-2). The only consolation for the Chinese flyweight was an action-packed affair that was awarded ‘Fight of the Night’ honours.
‘The Mongolian Murderer’ showed solid wrestling but got dropped twice in the second round. Molina stepped up the pace in the third and landed with volume. Aori responded by rocking the American with a right hand but it wasn’t enough to earn him the decision win.
It was a disappointing start for Na Liang (13-5) who was knocked out in the second round by Ariane Carnelossi (13-2) on her UFC debut. The Chinese fighter had a noticeable height advantage but it was Carnelossi who ended the first round in top position and firing off the ground and pound.
It was a sign of things to come from the 28-year-old who swept Na in the second stanza and went to work again with punches from the top position. Na was unable to defend herself as Carnelossi secured the TKO.
UFC 261, Jacksonville, Saturday 24th April 34th
Kamaru Usman (c) def. Jorge Masvidal via TKO (Punches) at 1:02 of Round 2
Rose Namajunas (c) def. Weili Zhang via KO (Head kick) at 1:18 of Round 1
Valentina Shevchenko (c) def. Jessica Andrade via TKO (Punches) at 3:19 of Round 2
Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman via first-round TKO (Leg injury) at 0:17 of Round 1
Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute via first-round TKO (Doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1
Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 2:50 of Round 1
Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic via Decision (Split)
Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via Submission (Heel hook) at 4:55 of Round 1
Patrick Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via Decision (Unanimous)
Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via TKO (Punches) at 0:50 of Round 1
Kazula Vargas def. Rong Zhu via Decision (Unanimous)
Jeffrey Molina def. Aoriqileng via Decision (Unanimous)
Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang via second-round TKO (Punches) at 1:28 of Round 2