UFC Shenzhen: Jessica Andrade to Defend Title Against Weili Zhang

UFC Shenzhen Jessica Andrade Weili Zhang
Credit: Joao Baptista/Sherdog

Weili Zhang of China will get the chance to win the title in front of her home country as she faces Jessica Andrade for the UFC strawweight championship on August 31.

First reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Chinese prospect Weili Zhang is targeted to challenge new UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzhen on August 31.

Tatiana Suarez, who was expected to be the next challenger following her victory over Nina Ansaroff on Saturday, detailed a neck injury which UFC President Dana White said he wanted to make sure she recovered from before booking another fight. White also said that Michelle Waterson, who was in Brazil for the UFC during Andrade’s title victory, was not ranked high enough. Former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk is coming off a loss at flyweight last December. Finally, former champion Rose Namajunas wanted a rematch with Andrade but is still recovering from injuries sustained during their bout in May.

Weili Zhang, 30, is on an impressive 19-fight win streak going into the fight with Andrade. Undefeated since coming up short in her professional debut, Zhang dominated on the Asian circuit for the Kunlun Fight promotion where she reigned as their strawweight champion before coming to the UFC. Upon entering the Octagon in 2018, Zhang rattled off victories against Danielle Taylor and Jessica Aguilar. In her breakout performance, she defeated perennial contender Tecia Torres on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 235.

Andrade is on a four-fight win streak that includes victories over Tecia Torres, Cláudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Rose Namajunas to win the championship. In her title winning effort, Andrade survived a dominant first round from Namajunas before getting ahold of the champion early in the second and deliver a fight ending slam to win the belt in front of her home country.

The card will take place on August 31 from the Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. The only other bout connected to the card is between Luana Carolina and Yanan Wu.

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