The UFC is currently targeting a strawweight title matchup between reigning undisputed champion, Zhang ‘Magnum’ Weili, and former gold holder, ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas – with the strawweight championship approaching its second defence under the reign of the former.
Hebei native, Weili last featured at UFC 248 in March, opposite former division queen, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, in arguably the greatest strawweight title fight in the history of female mixed martial arts. The five-round unanimous decision win marked the Chinese power-punchers first successful title defence at the first time of asking.
Recently returning to the win column at UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ in July – Denver based all-rounder, Namajunas took a close split judging win over fellow former champion, Jéssica Andrade. The two initially met at UFC 237 in May of last year, with Andrade claiming the crown with a massive slam knockout.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference following UFC Fight Night Vegas 10 last night, UFC president, Dana White confirmed the promotion’s plans to book a strawweight title fight between Weili and Namajunas, following a recent surgical procedure for the latter to repair a broken nose suffered in her re-run with Andrade.
“We’re working on that right now,” White said. “Well, that’s the fight (Weili vs. Namajunas) we wanna make so we’re working on it. She (Namajunas) just had surgery after her last fight.“
In what would mark her third challenge for strawweight gold, Trevor Wittman and Pat Barry trainee, Namajunas initially clashed with Carla Esparza in the inaugural title outing, dropping a submission loss. When pitted with common-foe, Jędrzejczyk at UFC 217 – Namajunas scored the crown in a stunning opening-round knockout over the then-undefeated Pole.
Beginning her reign as strawweight champion, promotional perfect striker, Weili became the first UFC champion from Asia at UFC Fight Night Shenzhen in August last year – taking a quickfire knockout win over common opponent, the above noted, Andrade.