Mingyang Zhang has signed with the UFC. The Chinese light heavyweight will make his debut in Perth on February 12th and has been matched with Tyson Pedro according to reliable reports.
Zhang is riding a nine fight winning streak that culminated in a victory over George Tokkos at Road to UFC 1. He stopped the English fighter in the first round and it was considered a major upset at the time.
Zhang has reportedly been rewarded with a spot on the roster and a debut at UFC 284:
Breaking: 🇨🇳Zhang Mingyang makes his UFC debut opposite 🇦🇺Tyson Pedro at UFC 284 in Perth on February 11th (the 12th locally), per multiple sources. #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/jmjUYzCWjx
— Chris Presnell (@mmaecosystem) October 30, 2022
But for Zhang (16-6) it will be a big step up in terms of opposition. The majority of his previous victories have come at the expense of fighters who don’t have particularly impressive records.
Six of the last nine fighters he faced had losing records. But the 32 year old clearly caught the eye with his knockout win against Bellator veteran Tokkos in Singapore.
Pedro (9-3) will be fighting in his homeland and looking for a third straight UFC win. He has been on the roster since 2016 and has won five out of his eight fights inside the octagon.
With two wins to his name already this year the Australian has a lot of momentum behind him coming into this contest and will be sure to get vocal support from the crowd at the RAC Arena. It looks set to be a baptism of fire for Zhang.
#RoadToUFC Episode 1 Official Result: Zhang Mingyang defeats Tuco Tokkos by KO at 3:57 in Round 1.
See every results from #RoadToUFC here ⤵️:
— UFC News (@UFCNews) June 9, 2022
In the main event #1 ranked middleweight Robert Whittaker (24-6) will take on #6 ranked Paulo Costa (14-2). The latter is the former middleweight champion but lost his crown to Israel Adesanya and then came up short in the rematch.
The card is likely to be stacked with Australian fighters with the bout between Pedro and Zhang reportedly set to serve as the co-headliner. It will be the promotion’s first event in the country since the pandemic.
UFC 284 took place in Melbourne in 2019 with Adesanya knocking out Whittaker in the main event. In total there have been 15 events put on by the promotion in Australia.
UFC 284, Perth, February 12th
Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa (Middleweight)
Mingyang Zhang vs. Tyson Pedro (Light heavyweight)