Weili Zhang will be fighting on one of the biggest fight cards the sport has ever seen this weekend. She faces compatriot Yan Xiaonan in the UFC 300 co-main event.

Zhang will be putting her strawweight title on the line and is well aware of the significance of the occasion.

“Of course this is UFC 300, a historic moment, the first time two Chinese fighters fighting for a belt. Also last time I was fighting in Las Vegas was against Joanna and I had the best performance so I’m super excited about this fight.”

Growing sport

Zhang is an already a veteran of UFC title fights. But she has never faced a Chinese opponent before in one of these encounters and sees it as a significant moment for the sport’s growth in her country,

“This is another fight for me but it means so much for MMA’s growth in China.”

There might be a lot of pressure on Zhang but she says she is feeling ‘happy and relaxed’,

“I’m very happy, very relaxed and I’m really looking forwards to the fight.”

Popular fighter

It appears that fans in China are firmly behind Zhang. It was our to her that she was more popular than her opponent but the champion played this down,

“Everyone has their own fans.”

The two have bene rising up the UFC ranks together for several years and Zhang believes Xiaonan has made some massive improvements,

“I see Xiaonan has grown a lot, especially in her strength and her grappling.”


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Beauty of MMA

She recently spent time training with #1 ranked bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili. Zhang is two divisions lower but says she didn’t struggle with the size difference.

She was impressed by the Georgian’s skillset though,

“I did not feel that Merab was that heavy but I was surprised by how good he was.”

The reigning strawweight champion refused to offer any predictions ahead of UFC 300. It looks set to be one of the most watched card in recent MMA history and she said fans should expect the unexpected,

“I don’t really like to predict the outcome because anything can happen. This is the beauty of MMA.”