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Carla Esparza vs Zhang Weili title fight in the works for UFC 281 in New York

Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight champion Carla Esparza is expected to defend her 115-pound strap against former division titleholder Zhang Weili in the upcoming UFC 281 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event scheduled for Sat., Nov. 12, 2022 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Esparza announced the fight on social media earlier today.

Esparza, 34, captured the crown with a tepid decision win over longtime rival Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 back in May. “Cookie Monster” (19-6) is the winner of six straight with three of those contests ending by way of split decision. As for the 33 year-old Weili (22-3), she dropped consecutive title fights to Namajunas but recently bounced back by knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275.

The promotion has yet to make an official announcement.

UFC 281 will be headlined by the middleweight title fight pitting current 185-pound kingpin Israel Adesanya against longtime kickboxing rival Alex Pereira, who already holds two victories (including one knockout) over “The Last Stylebender.” Elsewhere on the card, former light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes returns to battle Ryan Spann.

For the latest UFC 281 fight card and PPV lineup click here.

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