Okay, so new UFC women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang probably isn’t going to be fighting Henry Cejudo now that we know her terms. So which top 115 pound contender will the first Chinese champion face next? That’s a question Dana White left hanging when asked following her powerful 42 second knockout win at UFC Shenzhen (watch the highlights here).
“I don’t know if they’re all taking time off right now,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “Rose [Namajunas] is definitely taking time off. I mean, Rose got slammed on her head and wanted to take some time off after that, which is understandable. The other girls are all fighting. There’s other fights happening right now. And as they play out it will determine what’s next for Weili. And Weili told me tonight that she wants to fight as much as possible, which I love.”
#2 ranked Tatiana Suarez is currently nursing a neck injury, but we’d happily accept the winner of the Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Michelle Waterson showdown in Tampa on October 12. There’s also Nina Ansaroff ranked quietly at #3 if the UFC is desperate for a quick turnaround.
White also admitted he had a hard time securing highly ranked opponents for Zhang, a big reason why she got leapfrogged into a title opportunity so quickly.
”I can tell you this: going into this fight with Jessica Andrade, nobody wanted to fight Weili Zhang. Nobody wanted to fight her. Now she’s the champion, so if you want a shot at that belt, you have to fight her.”
As if ducking Zhang wasn’t bad enough, these fighters also had the gall to pick Andrade over her leading into UFC Shenzhen! We suppose that isn’t so surprising considering “Magnum” wasn’t even ranked at the start of 2019 and jumped up to #6 on the strength of a decision win over Tecia Torres.
“It’s funny because I asked a lot of fighters what they thought about this fight,” White told the press. “Everybody thought that Jessica was too strong for Weili and there were too many unanswered questions about Weili. Which is true!”
“If you’ve seen her fight, you can tell she’s well rounded, she’s super talented. But how’s she gonna deal with the pressure of fighting for the title for the first time in her home country, all of her people here, and a lot of other variables that play into a fight. She looked like a world champion tonight. She looked like one of the most vicious women on planet Earth tonight.
“She looked incredible!”