In the co-main event of UFC 292, the strawweight title was on the line. The champion Zhang Weili (23-3) returned for her first title defense of her second title reign as she took on surging top contender Amanda Lemos (13-2-1).
As mentioned, Weili is beginning her second reign on top of the strawweight division. The last time we saw her was back in November at UFC 281 when she took on Carla Esparza. On the heels of her second win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Weili got a crack at Esparza. Despite being the challenger, Weili was the huge favorite and she looked the part by submitting Esparza to regain the title.
Amanda Lemos lost her UFC debut, but then she went on a five-fight winning streak which earned her a main event against Jessica Andrade. Lemos lost that fight, but bounced back strong with back-to-back finishes over Michelle Waterson-Gomez and Marina Rodriguez. Tonight, she got her shot at strawweight gold.
UFC 292 Recap
The UFC strawweight title fight kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Weili opens with slight pressure as she holds the center. Low kick from Weili starts the striking. Lemos throws a kick but Weili catches it and kicks the back leg of Lemos and down they go. Weili gets on top and immediately advances to side control.
Short elbow from Weili and Lemos is just trying to stay composed here. Weili appears to be trying to lock in a crucifix, but Lemos is working her way back to the fence. Three minutes to go and Weili is going to work with big ground and pound along the fence. Dominant position here from the champion and she is just slamming shots into Lemos’ face.
Two big elbows now from Weili. Halfway through the round and it’s all Weili right now. Lemos is trying desperately to get up but she’s getting beaten up here. Brief scramble and Lemos gets a d’arce. It looks tight, but Weili is staying composed. Another scramble and Weili gets the back. She’s raining down massive shots.
The referee looks close to stopping this but Lemos survives. Absolutely brutal onslaught from Zhang Weili here in the first round. The bell sounds and Lemos survives but it’s all Zhang Weili at UFC 292.
Entering the second and Lemos had moments but it was a dominant opening frame for the champion. They touch gloves and here we go. Lemos is the one that holds the center to start this time and she’s throwing big shots from range right away. Low kick from Weili. Right hand from Lemos and Weili lands a counter.
Weili lands a big side kick to the body. Cracking right hand lands for Lemos. She tries for another wild shot but Weili gets a body lock and immediately slams the challenger to the mat. Side control right away for the champion. She nearly gets a crucifix but Lemos scrambles and forces Weili back to half guard.
Three minutes to work here and Weili is staying patient on top. She’s trying to pass here but she’s not getting wild with it. Short elbows now from Weili. There’s a huge strength advantage in the grappling here. Lemos forces a scramble but now Weili gets the back of Lemos. Weili tries to work her way to the top mount but ends up in half guard.
One minute to work and Weili lands three strong elbows. Lemos scrambles and they are back to the feet. Three straight knees to the body from Weili and she takes Lemos right back down. Weili gets the back of Lemos with about ten seconds left. The round ends and it’s a dominant 2-0 for Zhang Weili at UFC 292.
Entering the third and Amanda Lemos needs to stay composed and keep this fight standing. Side kick to the body starts the third round for Weili. Lemos steps forward to land big shots but she eats a big counter from Weili. Big kick from Weili and they get into the clinch. Lemos is actually trying for a takedown here.
Three huge elbows in tight from Weili and now she shoots for a single leg and drags Lemos down. Weili stands up and starts chopping at the legs from the top position. Before Lemos can get back up, Weili gets on top and gets right into side control. Lemos spins but Weili immediately takes the back. Big shots from the champion.
Halfway through the second round and Lemos is looking defeated here. Lemos forces a scramble and gets Weili back to half guard. Two immediate short elbows land for Weili. Weili moves right back to side control and again looks to be going for a crucifix. Lemos is at the fence and she uses it to get up.
However, Weili maintains the control and lands two really strong elbows in tight. Knee to the body now from the champion. Weili steps away and lands a big combination. 1-2 now from the champion lands. Step in elbow just misses from Weili. The round ends and it’s a shutout here at UFC 292 through three.
Entering the fourth round and I really don’t know what to tell Amanda Lemos at this point, she has to keep this standing. They touch gloves and here we go. Lemos is trying to hold the center here and Weili lands a body kick. Powerful low kick now lands for the champion. Lemos is plotting forward here and you can tell she’s looking for a home run.
Power right from Lemos just misses. Then she does catch Weili flush on an entry. Side kick to the leg lands for Weili. Combination from Lemos. Lemos has serious power and she catches Weili again. Weili lands a leg kick but now Lemos lands a big right hand. She’s gaining confidence here.
Big right hand from Weili and she immediately shoots for a takedown. Weili gets the takedown but this time Lemos is able to get right back up to her feet. One minute left in the round and Weili is starting to look tired here. Lemos appears to be the fresher fighter.
Front kick now from Lemos. They exchanges shots in the center. Weili steps forward and looks to land big but nothing lands. Lemos now throws big shots and nothing lands. Big body kick from Weili. The round ends and that might go to Amanda Lemos.
Entering the final round at UFC 292 and Lemos might’ve won that round, but she needs a finish to win. Lemos holds the center to start things and she eats a couple of side kicks from Weili. Huge right hand lands for Weili and that sits Lemos down. Weili is ferocious here going for the finish.
Lemos is hanging in there but she is eating a ton of shots from the champion. Lemos is going to survive this somehow and Weili is going to be gassed after that onslaught. They settle along the fence with three minutes to go. Weili has a crucifix here and Lemos is taking a ton of damage.
However, she uses the fence and somehow gets back to her feet. Knee to the body from Weili and now an elbow. Body lock and a toss from Weili and she settles right into side control. This is one way traffic here in the final round. Huge knees to the body now from Weili.
Lemos scrambles with 20 seconds to go and they are back up. Two side kicks to the body land for Weili and the final bell sounds. The UFC strawweight title will stay in China.
Zhang Weili def. Amanda Lemos by Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-44, 49-45)