Zhang stuns Andrade with 47 second TKO to become first Chinese UFC champion
Zhang Weili introduces the world to ‘China Power’ after capturing UFC Strawweight gold
Although only 3-0 in her UFC Strawweight campaign, China’s Zhang Weili boasts an impressive 19-1 overall record. Zhang’s solitary defeat is from her 2013 professional debut against Bo Meng. Zhang has since enjoyed a whirlwind 19 fight win streak coming into her UFC Strawweight title bout against Brasilian champion Jessice Andrade (20-6). Andrade is building on her own 4 fight win streak after experiencing her only UFC loss in her first title shot against 5-time defending Champion Joanna Jedrzejcyzk. Leon Roberts is the official for this main event Woman’s Strawweight Championship match up.
Immediately we see a fearless Zhang stand and punish Andrade with her sheer power and stunning speed. Zhang eats some shots and feels Andrade’s power, but it almost just makes her stronger. The expression on her face is awesome as she channels Andrade’s shots into her own offense. She drops Andrade who collapses into the level change and leans Zhang into the fence looking for recovery.
Zhang only has one speed and doesn’t stop the attack from the moment it began. She fluidly drops a series of devastating elbows, forcing Andrade to pull back, but Zhang remains latched on and forces the Thai clinch. From this position Zhang uses all of her power to not only deliver strong knees to the body and head, but also uses all her fiery might to pull Andrade’s head into the strikes.
This sequence sends Andrade careening into the cage where she turtles up in the confusion. Again Zhang leaps in for the ground and pound until the separation comes from Leon Roberts. Zhang delivers an acrobatic celebration before a proud Chinese audience to become the first Chinese champion in UFC history. A truly stunning performance with eerie echoes of Cyborg vs Nunes. But somehow faster and more violent.
This was only Zhang’s fifth UFC fight and she has only face two ranked opponents, which leaves an entire division of fresh match ups for this ‘and new’ Champion. Dana White insists nobody would take this fight except Andrade, but now with Zhang as Champion the divison will be forced to face the Chinese phenom.