Weili Zhang Aims to Build Legacy, Admits She Has Much to Learn

Weili Zhang found herself in a sticky situation at UFC 300. She turned it around, though.

She thought she had Xiaonan Yan beat with a rear-naked choke right out of the gate. The ref didn’t stop it, and the fight went on. All 25 minutes of it. Zhang kept her cool, even after getting knocked down in the third. She walked away with a win by unanimous decision.

Zhang was kinda surprised by Yan’s comeback. “I really thought she was out,” she admitted. But Yan bounced back, and Zhang was left feeling like she was in a dream. “I blanked out,” she said. It was all a bit surreal for her.

UFC 300 was a big deal. It was the first time two Chinese fighters fought for a championship in the Octagon. Zhang sees it as a sign of things to come. “MMA’s growing fast in China,” she pointed out. She’s expecting more such historic matchups.

Zhang’s no stranger to the spotlight. She’s had her share of epic fights, like the one with Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248. With five wins in title bouts, she’s a big deal in the strawweight class. But she’s not resting on her laurels. “I’ve still got a lot to learn,” she insists.

For Zhang, it’s not just about the destination. It’s about the journey. The wins and losses are part of it, sure. But she believes the grind – the sweat, blood, and tears – deserves respect too. “It’s all progress,” she says.

As the reigning strawweight champ, Zhang’s open to fighting anyone. Top 5, Top 10, it doesn’t matter. But right now? She’s taking a well-deserved break. “I just want to rest,” she says, looking forward to some downtime.

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