Weili Zhang Hopes Fight With Xiaonan Grows MMA In China

Las Vegas – UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili is excited to return to the city where she put up a fight of the year in 2020, and this time she’ll attempt to do it again against Yan Xiaonan at UFC 300 on Saturday night.

“This is UFC 300. It’s a historic moment. We have 12 former and also current champions on this card,” Weili told reporters including Cageside Press on Wednesday.

“Also the first time two Chinese fighters (are) fighting to get the champion belt. Last time I was fighting in Vegas was against Joanna (Jedrzejczyk) and we had the best performance so I’m super excited about this fight.”

Weili (24-3) isn’t oblivious to the importance of this fight to her home country of China. The sport continues to grow in the region, and she hopes to Chinese fighters battling for a title will help it that much more.

“This is another fight for me, but on the other hand this also means so much for MMA sports development and growth in China,” she said.

Since entering the UFC Weili has become a fan favorite, and has had interactions with fellow fighters and athletes. In a video a couple years back she picked up former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, and more recently trained with #1 bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili. Oh and of course she also picked up Shaq.

“I did not feel Ngannou was that heavy, but when I was training with Merab I was really surprised by how good he was (on) his ground game,” she told Cageside Press.

“(Shaq) was surprised I was able to lift him up. I guess that maybe he was being lifted by his mom when he was little, but never after he became (an) adult. He was pretty surprised I could do that.”

Watch the entire media day scrum with Weili Zhang above. She takes on Yan Xiaonan at UFC 300 on Saturday night.