UFC 261: Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas to be the headliner for the event

UFC has announced that UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili making her second title defense against #1 contender Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC 261.

UFC 261 will air live in Asia on Sunday, April 25 with the main card starting at 10:00 a.m. Shanghai.

UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili (21-1, fighting out of Beijing, China) is the first woman in history from China and the broader Asia region to capture a UFC world title. She surged into title contention with wins over UFC veterans Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres then took the belt from Jessica Andrade with a 42 second knockout in front of a hometown crowd at UFC Shenzhen in August of 2019. In 2020, Zhang made her first successful title defense against the former five-time defending strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in what was ultimately awarded Fight of the Year 2020.

She rides a win streak of an incredible 20 fights going into her second title defense, with 11 first-round finishes, 10 KOs, and 7 submissions.

#1 strawweight contender Rose Namajunas (9-4, Colorado, USA) has consistently delivered exceptional performances, including her submission of Michelle Waterson in 2017, followed by back-to-back victories against then-champion Jedrzejczyk, winning by KO to capture the belt that same year, and then by a decision to keep it in the 2018 rematch and title defense. In 2019, the slam heard round the world saw Jessica Andrade take the strawweight title from Namajunas, but she took revenge with a Fight of the Night win over Andrade in 2020.

UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili versus #1 challenger Rose Namajunas has the potential to be an instant classic from two athletes who have repeatedly proven they are willing to give everything they have inside the Octagon.

As previously announced, the co-main event will feature UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (19-3, Kyrgyzstan/Tiger Muay Thai Phuket) who will defend her title for the fifth time against former strawweight champion and now #1 flyweight contender Jessica Andrade (21-8, Brazil).

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