Zhang Weili and Amanda Lemos squared off in a women’s Strawweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., Aug. 19, 2023) at UFC 292 inside TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. In a very dominant showing, Weili scored the first title defense of her second reign.
Weili scored top position off a caught low kick almost immediately, and she passed guard when Lemos attempted an armbar. From side control, she landed short chipping shots. Lemos tried to get her back to the fence, but Weili locked down a leg and hammered away. “Magnum” really opened up with her ground strikes and was forced to defend a guillotine choke as a result. Even so, she advanced guard while defending into the back mount, landing nasty punches and elbows from dominant positions.
Lemos survived, but it was a dominant round from the champion.
Lemos stormed back into the fight early in the second, timing a couple of powerful right hands. Before the Brazilian could gain too much momentum, Weili threw her back to the floor. From top position, Weili was patient but consistent, always working to advance position or land elbows. Lemos nearly kicked Weili off her, but instead she maintained control and took the back. Lemos recovered guard and escaped to her feet for just long enough to eat some clinch strikes, then Weili threw her back to the floor.
Strong work through 10 minutes for Weili.
Lemos swung wide and connected on some early shots, but then she tried to wrestle for some unknowable reason. Predictably, Weili stuffed the shot, elbowed her in the face, then floored her with a smooth single leg takedown. Lemos was looking fatigued. Before long, Weili was on her back, hunting for the choke. To Lemos’ credit, she fought hands well and worked back to half guard. Lemos returned to her feet with about 90 seconds remaining, but Weili just battered her in the clinch in response.
The stats according to the broadcast by the end of the third? 150 significant strikes to nine in favor of Zhang Weili.
Weili opted to strike early, moving her feet and kicking her opponent at distance. Lemos found a couple right hands and started to build momentum. A Lemos right hand knocked Weili off-balance mid-kick, flooring her briefly. Before Lemos could gain too much momentum, Weili scored a double leg takedown. This time, however, Lemos was able to threaten a guillotine and stand quickly. Heavy body kick scores for the champion near the end of the round. Lemos may have snagged the fourth, but she still needed a finish or something absolutely massive in the final five minutes.
Powerful side kicks from Weili began the fifth, then she suddenly CRACKED Lemos with a huge right hand that floored her! “Magnum” swarmed from top position, really opening up with a heavy flurry of offense. Lemos survived by scrambling and trying to grab a kneebar, but Weili secured her favorite crucifix position. Zhang continued to flurry, but Lemos managed to survive the position after eating dozens and dozens of punches.
It’s hard not to walk away from this fight impressed by Lemos’ toughness, but this was a domination. The Weili ground onslaught began just a couple seconds into the first round, and it lasted a large majority of the next 25 minutes.
It’s not going to be easy to dethrone the champion a second time.
Result: Zhang Weili defeats Amanda Lemos via unanimous decision
For complete UFC 292: ‘Sterling vs. O’Malley’ results and play-by-play, click HERE!