Weili Zhang remains humble despite another big win at UFC 292. She scored a lopsided decision victory over #5 ranked challenger Amanda Lemos in Boston.
Zhang didn’t just win, she set a UFC record for the most strikes landed in a strawweight fight. She landed 288 shots to the Brazilian’s 21 and in the ten years that the promotion has been putting on female fights no-one has outstruck an opponent by such a wide margin.
It doesn’t sound like Zhang has a big celebration planned after her UFC 292 win though. She believes there is room for improvement and is already thinking about what she will work on when she returns to training,
“I feel very happy but I still see a lot of things I need to improve to I think that is what I need to work out when I go back to training,” she said.
— UFC (@ufc) August 20, 2023
Zhang has seen a considerable uptick in terms of her results since relocating to Phuket. She is based at Bang Tao Muay Thai and says her only focus is on constant improvement,
“I have no idea about (whether) I broke the record at all and I even don’t think too much about my opponent. For this fight, even through the whole fight camp the only opponent I see or challenge is myself. Everything single day I just (thought), ‘am I the better Weili than I was yesterday?’ I feel I’m still far from being a legend so I need to keep working.”
The 34-year-old dominated the encounter from the outset and after scoring an early takedown, the champion went to work with ground and pound. At one stage Lemos threatened with a D’arce choke but Zhang says she was never at any risk,
“It’s not that dangerous because it’s not that tight. She didn’t get my neck she only got the back of my head, it’s okay – I didn’t feel panic, I just know it’s not that dangerous.”
A Magnum Masterclass! 😤
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) August 21, 2023
An all Chinese showdown with Yan Xiaonan surely awaits. Her compatriot knocked out Jessica Andrade at UFC 288 and even Dana White admitted that she had earned a shot at the champion.
Xiaonan is ranked #3 and the two could end up facing off on a UFC card in China later this year. But Zhang played down the possibility and said she would be willing to face,
“Everyone from the top five. They’re all good, so let’s see.”
She was coming off back to back losses to Rose Namajunas when she decided to move to Phuket. Since then she has won three in a row and recaptured her strawweight crown.
It has been a remarkable turnaround and Zhang believes the decision to relocate to Phuket has paid dividends,
“I think that’s the right decision because at a different stage of your career you need to bring some new coaches, some new blood into your team to give you some new knowledge. I think that is absolutely the right decision I made.”