Rose Namajunas did it again. The first time she won the title, it was via stunning first-round knockout. It was the same case at UFC 261, stopping Weili Zhang in just over a minute.
It wasn’t the rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk many had hoped for. But at UFC 261, Weili Zhang was paired up with Rose Namajunas, which was the next best thing.
China’s Zhang had a billion strong following, in theory anyway, heading into the fight. She represented a massive opportunity to grow the sport in China. But “Thug Rose” was looking to play spoiler, and even managed to stir up a little controversy ahead of the fight, bringing up the old “better dead than red” slogan in regards to Zhang’s communist homeland.
Prior to the fight, Zhang had brushed off the comment. Would she feel differently once the cage door closed?
The strawweights met in the middle and Zhang began the fight with a leg kick. She then combined a leg kick with a jab that caught Namajunas clean. Namajunas fired back and Zhang went to the inside leg kick. Namajunas then went high with a lead-leg head kick and the champion went down immediately. The challenger pounced and landed three follow-up shots and that was it. Rose Namajunas was the champion once again.
Afterwards, Namajunas proclaimed that she was the best, which was hard to argue, and that she plans on opening MMA gyms throughout the world. She also addressed her pre-fight comments directed towards Zhang and stated that they were not meant to be personal attacks on Zhang.
The former champion, Zhang, believed the stoppage was early and said that she was still conscious.
Rose Namajunas def. Weili Zhang by KO (Head Kick) in Round 1 (1:18)