Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again yesterday (Sat. Aug., 31, 2019) as UFC Fight Night 157 went down from inside Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen, China, which saw Weili Zhang stun the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by knocking out the now-former women’s Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, in under a minute (see it again here).
Biggest Winner: Weili Zhang
Making her Octagon debut in August of 2018, it only took one year for Zhang to make history and win UFC gold, walking right through Andrade in just 42 seconds to capture the Strawweight title. In doing so, Zhang becomes the first-ever Chinese-born fighter to win a title for UFC, earning her consecutive win number 20 in the process.
And she made it look easy, putting a little bit of fear in her future foes. To top it off, Zhang has gotten the seal of approval from Ronda Rousey, and even received some support from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Tom Brady prior to the fight. Indeed, Zhang is on cloud nine at the moment, and if the last couple of years of her career have shown us anything, she’s ready to make her run as champion an extended one. And since she has a whole country behind her, she can take advantage of all the benefits that come with being the face of an entire nation in the sport of MMA. For now, Weili can take some time to enjoy her history-making win before looking forward to her first title defense.
Runner Up: Li Jingliang
Li picked up his third straight win after upsetting Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in the co-main event, knocking him out in the third round. In doing so, Li snapped Elizeu’s seven-fight win streak and handed him just his second loss in four years. Dos Santos was considered one of the dark horses in the Welterweight division that many felt was on the cusp of breaking into mix.
That however, is no more, and Li gets to steal some of the shine following his big win. While Jingliang has a ways to go before he can start eying top-10 placement, his huge win over dos Santos can be used as a springboard and motivation to not look back and keep his eye on the prize.
Biggest Loser: Jessica Andrade
Jessica’s title reign will feel like a blur not only in the MMA landscape, but for her, as well. Indeed, “Bate Estaca” was only the champ for a little under three months after winning the title by knocking out Rose Namajunas at UFC 237 this past May. Andrade — to her credit — decided to get back on the horse as soon as possible, which backfired as she didn’t take time to enjoy life as champion and take advantage of the perks that come with it.
While Jessica’s aggressive style may have worked for her in the past — just ask this lady — this time around it worked against her, as Weilie looked for the perfect opening to clip and over-aggressive ex-champion, marking the beginning of the end. Since it was her first attempt to defend the title, Jessica will have to start from scratch again, as she hasn’t been champion long enough to call for an instant rematch. And with contenders such as Tatiana Suarez, Michelle Waterson, and former champs such as Joanna Jedrzejczyk, chomping at the bit for a title shot, Jessica’s road back to the big dance could be a grueling one.
For complete UFC Shenzhen results and coverage click here.