Recently minted UFC strawweight queen, Rose Namajunas has booked a rematch for in her first attempted defense of her second title reign — meeting with past-foe, former champion, Zhang Weili in a co-headlining bout at UFC 268 on November 6. Madison Square Garden will also host the pay-per-view showcase.
Becoming the first two-time strawweight champion in the history of the UFC, ONX Labs mainstay, Namajunas also took co-main event status back in April at UFC 261 at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena — matching with defending champion, Weili.
Launching a massive high-kick with just over a minute elapsed in the opening round, Namajunas dropped defending queen, Weili in the centre of the Octagon before clinching the strawweight crown with follow-up ground strikes. The promotion officially announced the pairing during the broadcast of UFC Vegas 35 tonight.
In the midst of a two-fight winning run following a worrying slam KO loss to former champion, Jessica Andrade back in May — Namajunas returned to the winner’s enclosure against Andrade in a three round rematch at UFC 251 last July on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
April’s victory over Weili saw Namajunas add the Hebei native to an impressive résumé which includes a pair of wins over former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Tecia Torres, Michelle Waterson, Paige VanZant, and Angela Hill.
For Weili, the promotion’s first champion from Asia — the April defeat came as her premier loss under the UFC’s banner from six separate walks to the Octagon.
The 32-year-old won strawweight gold back in August 2019 at UFC Fight Night Shenzhen on home soil, stopping the aforenoted Andrade with an early knockout before narrowly edging out the common-foe, Jedrzejczyk with a close split decision victory at UFC 248 in March of last year in the annum’s Fight of the Year.
Taking co-headlining status as part of a title doubleheader, Namajunas and Weili feature beneath a welterweight title rematch between reigning division kingpin, Kamaru Usman and, division top-contender, Colby Covington.