Jessica Andrade vs. Weili Zhang title fight nearly finalized for UFC Shenzhen

12. 6. 2019

Jessica Andrade’s first defense of her UFC strawweight title is apparently going to be in enemy territory.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that a bout between Andrade and Weili Zhang is expected to serve as the main event for UFC Shenzhen in mainland China. It’ll be the first time that a Chinese athlete has ever challenged for a UFC title, and it comes at a time that the UFC is intending to build a Performance Institute as part of its aggressive expansion in that country.

Andrade (20-6) captured the 115 lbs crown with a dramatic slam KO of Rose Namajunas at last month’s UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro. The powerful Brazilian has only lost once at strawweight, when she lost a decision to then-champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in May 2017. She’s currently on a four-fight winning streak, with her last two wins coming by knockout.

Zhang (19-1) lost her MMA debut back in 2013, but is undefeated since then. Her 3-0 record in the UFC consists of a decision win over Danielle Taylor, an armbar finish of former WSOF champion Jessica Aguilar, and most recently a competitive, hard-fought decision over Tecia Torres at UFC 235. She’s currently ranked #6 in the strawweight division, one ahead of Michelle Waterson, whom Dana White scoffed at as the next contender.

UFC Shenzhen takes place on August 31st and streams live on ESPN+.