The fight between Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas will not live long in the memory. It has been described as the worst title fight in the history of the UFC.

But while action was at a premium at least one person was pleased with the outcome. Former strawweight champion Weili Zhang thinks the split decision win for Namajunas was good for her.

She thinks it opens the door for her to challenge for the UFC strawweight title again,

“The result is good for me and Joanna because we have a chance to challenge for the title again,” she said on a conference call ahead of UFC 275.

Instant classic

Zhang rematches Joanna Jedrzejczyk in Singapore next month. The first fight was an instant classic that earned them both a bonus and she believes the second meeting between the two strawweights could be just as good,

“For the last fight it was a very good fight, one of the best in UFC history so I think the second fight will be a really good one too.”

Zhang has relocated to Bang Tao Muay Thai in Phuket in order to prepare for this fight. She has been using Fight Ready in Arizona as a base for all her recent fights but has decided to prepare for this contest in Asia.

The camp only opened its doors last month but it sounds like she has been picking up a lot of wrestling tips,

“It’s very good, I study a lot and the coaches teach me a lot of different takedowns. I got a lot of new knowledge.”

No overthinking

Earlier this week she was asked about the fight between Esparza and Namajunas. In comments translated by SCMP she stated that,

“I believe no one wants to watch a championship fight like that. As a champion, you need to show heart, the indomitable spirit. You can’t be thinking about win or lose once you are in the cage. I think that’ll give yourself a heavy burden to bear.”

She believes both Namjunas and Esparza were guilty of ‘overthinking’ and is determined not to make the same mistake,

“So I think while in the cage, we shouldn’t overthink. Just think about how you can showcase your best self, your best ability. That would be enough.”


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Entertaining style

Zhang didn’t have too much to say for herself on the conference call while her opponent was more talkative. Jedrzejczyk expressed sympathy for Namajunas who has come in for a lot of criticism (see above).

But as Zhang pointed out the disappointing performance from Namajunas could well benefit the winner of this fight. It looks set to be a title eliminator and the Chinese fighter will be looking to win and provide some entertainment in the process.