New York, NY — Rematches are always difficult for fighters, since they know that while they make adjustments, their opponents can as well. For former UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili, it was even more difficult given the moves she made to prepare for her rematch against current champion Rose Namajunas.
Despite losing to Namajunas once again, this time via decision at UFC 268, Zhang continues to have faith that she will be champion once again.
“I think that the overall game plan worked well. Maybe I did 60 or 70 percent of what I could do,” she stated backstage during the fight, speaking at the post-fight press conference. “I feel sorry for the coaches because they have done a tremendous job for me during this training camp.”
Zhang (21-3) had moved her entire camp to Scottsdale, Arizona into Fight Ready where she was coached by former UFC bantmweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, head coach Eric Albarracin and trained with current and former UFC fighters like John Moraga.
As far as her rivalry with Namajunas, Zhang expressed hope that their paths will cross again.
“I think today’s fight is a really close fight. I think we both performed the best of ourselves. I’m very much looking forward to a rematch with Rose,” Zhang said.
“I believe that I’ll get my belt back if I have the opportunity.” After that line you could hear Cejudo in the background saying “Yes, yes.”
With the flyweight division being a bit light in terms of legit contenders at the moment Zhang’s opportunity could come sooner than later.
Official Result: Rose Namajunas (c) def. Zhang Weili by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 49-46)
Watch the entire post-fight media scrum with Zhang Weili above and keep it here for more coverage from UFC 268