Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas will have her chance to win back the title after all.
According to a recent report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Namajunas is expected to fight current 115-pound champion Weili Zhang at UFC 261 on April 24. The bout has yet to be finalized, but this is the event and date that is being targeted at this time.
Sorry, Carla Esparza. Maybe next time.
Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas for the strawweight title is in the works for UFC 261 on April 24, per multiple sources.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 26, 2021
The fight isn't finalized just yet, however, that's the date the promotion and both fighters are targeting at this time. Hoping to get done in coming days.
In addition, the upcoming UFC women’s strawweight title fight is likely to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The promotion was trying to stage Zhang’s next title defense in Singapore but those plans seem to be changing.
Zhang, 31, is coming off a legendary title defense over Joanna Jedrzejczyk back at UFC 248 in what is considered one of the best female fights of all time. It was Zhang’s first title defense since shocking the MMA world by taking out Jessica Andrade in just 42 seconds back in 2019 to win the belt. The Chinese fighter has amassed a 5-0 record since making her Octagon debut in 2018 and hasn’t lost a fight since her professional debut over seven years ago.
Namajunas, 28, is coming off a split-decision win over Andrade at UFC 251 that ultimately landed her back in this position. “Thug” had lost her UFC women’s strawweight championship to Andrade in 2019 following back-to-back title wins over Jedrzejczyk. Namajunas will be the betting underdog when she squares off with Zhang this April, but she’s been down this road once before only to pass with flying colors.
For more UFC 261 fight card news click here.