Weili Zhang was watching Carla Esparza’s fight with Rose Namajunas at UFC 274. If she was bored by the five round snore fest she isn’t letting on.

Instead the former champion took to Instagram to congratulate Esparza and challenge her to a fight:

Rise again

Her message to the newly crowned champion is:

“Congratulations to the new champion. Come on, new champion. Let’s have a fight.”

Henry Cejudo, who coaches Zhang at Fight Ready in Arizona, also got in on the act. He is not involved in her current training camp but still had a message for the former champion,

“China will rise again!”


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A post shared by Henry Cejudo (@henry_cejudo)

Too bored

The fight between Esparza and Namajunas is not one people will be talking about for a long time. Between them the two strawweight landed 68 strikes in 25 minutes in what will go down as the worst title match in UFC history.

The bout went to the judges and even Dana White admitted he was too bored to remember to keep track of who was ahead. Esparza got the nod with two of the three judges seeing the fight for her which means she is now the fighter to beat at 115lbs.

Zhang is the former strawweight champion but is coming off two losses to Namajunas. She wants the belt back and knows that beating Esparza would be the quickest way to get it.

Big fight

But Zhang is currently at Bang Tao Muay Thai in Phuket preparing for a big fight of her own. She is rematching Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 275 in Singapore.

While Esparza and Namajunas put on the worst title fight in UFC history Zhang and Jędrzejczyk might well have been involved in the best. They traded blows for five action packed rounds at UFC 248 with the Chinese fighter taking a split decision win.

The rematch at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will only be a three rounder. This has led many fans to complain, demanding to know why they aren’t being given the opportunity to put on another 25 minute war for the ages.

Newly crowned

If Zhang loses then it will be a third defeat in a row for the 32 year old. That would leave her well out of the title picture and a long way from a shot at Esparza.

But if the Chinese fighter was to snap her losing streak in Singapore she would be well positioned to demand a shot at the newly crowned champion. One thing is for sure, Namajunas won’t be getting an immediate rematch with Esparza as no-one wants to see that fight again.

Meanwhile Jędrzejczyk has not fought since the loss to Zhang in 2020 and has been removed from the rankings altogether. A win for the Polish fighter in Singapore would arguably establish her as the #1 contender though.

The likes of Marina Rodriguez, Mackenzie Dern and Jessica Andrade are all in the mix. But Zhang hopes her next fight will be a title eliminator and she already has her eyes on the newly crowned strawweight queen.