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Zhang Weili releases statement after quick Namajunas loss: ‘Hopefully UFC will schedule a rematch’

The former women’s Strawweight champion is already plotting her path back to the title, asking UFC for an immediate rematch.

UFC 261: Zhang v Namajunas Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

UFC 261 was a shockingly short night for former women’s Strawweight champ Zhang Weili.

After a tough as nails “Fight of the Year” against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248, everyone was expecting a knock-down, drag-out war against her next opponent, Rose Namajunas. Instead, “Thug Rose” threw a quick headkick that landed flush on Zhang’s jaw just past the first minute (watch the highlights here).

The fight was basically over before it even got started.

It all happened so fast that Zhang didn’t even realize she’d been knocked out. The Chinese star argued with officials through the post-fight interviews, insisting she was still conscious. And while she didn’t argue that point further in her official statement following the fight, she did ask UFC to schedule a rematch soon.

“I want to congratulate Rose on her victory,” Weili wrote on Instagram. “She bounced back from her defeat. I believe I will also come back, only beat a great champion, to become a legend, and beat a legend, I will become a new me. Before, my goal was to win the UFC championship, but today, I have a higher goal than that.

“Thank you! It’s normal to lose and win,” she continued. “That’s the UFC. Andrade, Joanna, Rose have all lost and they all come back and try again. I have deepened my understanding of UFC today. So I believe I can come back. Hopefully the UFC will schedule a rematch soon.”

Between Zhang’s popularity and a lack of solid contenders lined up, it sounds like she may get her wish.

Obviously the rematch, that’s a fun fight and I think a lot of people would be excited about that fight,” UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight press conference. “I don’t make fights the night of the fight, but I’m just saying off the top of my head ... that makes a lot of sense.”

As for Namjunas’ thoughts on the situation? She seemed more interested in seeing who would come out of the upcoming Yan Xiaonan vs. Carla Esparza fight set for May 22, 2021.

“We’ll talk about it,” Namajunas said when asked about a rematch. “It’s understandable that [Weili] is pretty upset about how quickly it went and everything like that ... so I’d be open to it, and we’ll have to see.”

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 261: “Usman vs. Masvidal 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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