UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade is slated to defend her title for the first time against China’s Weili Zhang.
The news was reported Tuesday (June 11, 2019) as ESPN sources claimed the UFC is close to finalizing the bout for a first-ever Fight Night event in Shenzhen, China, on August 31. The contracts have not been signed yet, but it’s close to being official as per the report.
Andrade won the title against Rose Namajunas following a scary slam knockout of the former champion last month at UFC 237 in Brazil. In total, she has won seven of her last eight fights. With the likes of Tatiana Suarez and Michelle Waterson both on impressive winning streaks, one of them were expected to be the Brazilian’s next opponent.
However, Zhang has gotten the nod instead. The 29-year-old debuted in the UFC last year and has won all three of her bouts so far. Her biggest win came after out-pointing Tecia Torres at UFC 235 earlier this year. In all, she has won her last 19 fights since suffering a defeat in her pro debut. Sixteen of them have been finishes.
This will be the promotion’s third visit to China after debuting in Shanghai in 2017 and having its second event in Beijing last year. The UFC is notably opening a new Performance Institute in Shanghai this summer as well as its desire to expand its presence in China.