History was made Saturday at UFC Shenzhen as Weili Zhang upset Jessica Andrade to become the UFC’s first Chinese champion.
Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre Arena in Shenzhen, China hosted the return of the UFC Saturday. The main event saw UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade make the trip to China after defeating Rose Namajunas at UFC 237 to win the title. Her first title against came China’s Weili Zhang, who after besting Tecia Torres secured her shot at the division’s top prize.
It didn’t unfold how anyone expected. Zhang was always given a shot to win, although Andrade was no doubt the favorite. However, few expected a quick, dominant performance from Zhang.
In the end, she surprised just about everyone. Weili Zhang opened with a leg kick and Andrade pushed forward. Andrade clipped Zhang, and continued to move forward but Zhang answered with a right that hurt Andrade. Zhang then secured the clinch and went to work; she landed multiple knees and strikes that sent Andrade retreating. Zhang rushed forward as she fired off more punches, Andrade tried to recover but Zhang’s assault did not relent. More clinch work, elbows, and just plain punishment followed. Andrade wound up on the ground, covering up, forcing the ref to step in and call an end to the contest.
With the win Zhang becomes the first Chinese champion in the UFC. The first Chinese champion in a major promotion. And it gives the promotion a huge asset as it continues its expansion in the lucrative Chinese market.
Historic, to say the least.
Weili Zhang def. Jessica Andrade by TKO, Round 1, 0:42