Reigning WLF lightweight champion Zhu Rong is set to compete at UFC 261. The 21 year old will face Rodrigo Vargas in Jacksonville on April 24th.

Rong (17-3) is riding a ten fight winning streak and has spent time training at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai. He has been more active than most mixed martial artists during the pandemic, fighting three times last year and once in January.

Vargas (11-4) will be looking for his first ever UFC win. The Mexican has lost two fights out of two inside the octagon and will potentially be fighting for his promotional future.

As previously announced Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas will meet at UFC 261. The Chinese fighter will be making the second defence of her strawweight title.

There will be three other Chinese fighters on the card. Strawweight Na Liang, who who has been training at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai, will be making her promotional debut against Ariane Carnelossi.

Danaa Batgerel faces Kevin Natividad in a bantamweight bout while Qileng Aori faces Jeff Molina in flyweight action. The latter has also emerged from the UFC’s flagship training centre in Shanghai.

The event also features the return of Asian MMA veteran Mark Striegl. He has been matched with Johnny Muñoz in a bantamweight bout.

The location was recently switched to the 15,000 capacity VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville and Dana White is expecting a full house. It will be the first time a UFC event has taken place in front of a live audience in the US for nearly a year.

UFC 261, Jacksonville, April 24th
Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal (For welterweight title)
Weili Zhang (c) vs. Rose Namajunas (For strawweight title)
Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jéssica Andrade (For flyweight title)
Chris Weidman vs. Uriah Hall (Middleweight)
Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute (Light Heavyweight)
Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad (Bantamweight)
Brendan Allen vs. Karl Roberson (Middleweight)
Jeff Molina vs. Qileng Aori (Flyweight)
Johnny Muñoz vs. Mark Striegl (Bantamweight)
Na Liang vs. Ariane Carnelossi (Strawweight)
Zhu Rong vs. Rodrigo Vargas (Lightweight)