Welcome to the UFC: Zhenhong Lu

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UFC Octagon
UFC Octagon Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Zhenhong Lu is stepping up on short notice this weekend at UFC Shenzhen, where he’ll face a former foe in Movsar Evloev.

The UFC is coming to Shenzhen, China inside the Universiade Sports Centre on August 31. Just days away now, the card is headlined by UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade defending her title against rising Chinese star Weili Zhang. Earlier in the night, however, Mike Grundy was scheduled to fight Movsar Evloev, but Grundy pulled out due to an injury. In need of a short-notice replacement, the UFC signed Zhenhong Lu to rematch Evloev on short notice. Lu will enter the fight 1-1 in his last two bouts, but is coming off a win.

How will Lu fare in the UFC:

Lu (18-6) has a lot of experience and has wins (and losses) against decent competition. On the feet, Lu is a bit unpolished with his striking. He throws wild looping hooks and mixes in single kicks with his chin high. Lu is lost at range, usually finding himself at the end of a jab. He’s an aggressive fighter that will come forward to initiate the clinch. In the clinch is where Lu is very capable of getting takedowns; top position is where the Chinese fighter excels. He will always stay active with ground and pound, posturing up and landing elbows as well. In other aspects, Lu needs some work on his cardio, he’s sloppy on the feet, and speed isn’t on his side. If you had to make a prediction, you could see him going 0-3 through a trio of UFC fights. That will depend on competition.

How Lu matches up with Evloev:

This is a rematch from their first meeting, which took place over four years ago. That fight saw Evloev control a large portion of the bout en route to a unanimous decision win. On the feet, Lu is lacking, and while striking isn’t the strong suit for Evloev, he has the advantage. Lu struggles as range and Evloev does do a good job fighting long with his jab. However, the biggest path to victory for both fighters is on the mat. Evloev has high-level wrestling/grappling and showed it in their first fight. It should be no different here.

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