UFC 261 Preview: Zhang Weili – Rose Namajunas

Daniel Cunningham
Mar 7, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Weili Zhang (red gloves) fights Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue gloves) during UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 261, we are going to see the strawweight title fight that the world has been waiting for. Undisputed strawweight champion Zhang Weili (21-1) will defend her title against the former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (9-4).

Zhang Weili made her UFC debut back in 2018. She immediately won three fights in a row and the promotion saw a ton of potential in her. The UFC has been trying to grow their Chinese presence and they saw Weili as the perfect fighter to assist with that.

Despite only being sixth in the rankings, the UFC had Weili challenge for the title against Jessica Andrade in China. Andrade was the betting favorite, but that night, Weili wasn’t going to be denied. A huge flurry in the first round stopped Andrade and won Weili the title.

After that win, Weili went on to defend her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the 2020 fight of the year. Weili took the title from Jessica Andrade while Andrade took the title away from Rose Namajunas. A few years ago, Namajunas looked like she was going to be the next dominant female UFC champion.

She had two wins over Joanna Jedrzejczyk and she looked like she was primed for a run. However, she was dealing with a lot of issues outside the cage and it impacted her. Andrade finished her to take her title. However, at UFC 251 a newly motivated Rose Namajunas got that win back against Andrade.

UFC 261 Prediction

This UFC 261 co-main event might steal the show tomorrow night. I’m so pumped for this fight and I believe we are seeing the two best strawweights in the world go at it. When it comes to the overall game, I have to say that I like Rose Namajunas.

Her striking technique is incredibly slick. She’s also got great skills on the ground and she’s always threatening with submissions. Overall technique and diversity in skillset go to the former champion. However, there is just something truly special about Zhang Weili.

Her striking is very good and there is no doubting the fact that she has the strength and power advantage. While Rose Namajunas is ultra talented, there’s something in me that can’t bet against the current UFC champion. I think we are in for another war, but I think Weili is going to do more damage which will win her a razor close decision.

Prediction: Zhang Weili by Split Decision