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Weili Zhang: Fans wanted to see me rematch Rose Namajunas over Carla Esparza

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Weili Zhang: “I think because more fans want me and Rose again”.

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UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2
Weili Zhang makes her walk to the octagon ahead of her strawweight title bout against Rose Namajunas at UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Former UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang doesn’t deny that Carla Esparza is deserving of a title shot but claims more fans wanted to see her rematch ‘Thug’ Rose than ‘Cookie Monster’.

“I think because more fans want me and Rose again,” Zhang, who lost to Namajunas via first-round KO at UFC 261, told The Schmo (h/t BJPenn.com) when asked why she got the title shot over No. 3-ranked Esparza.

Zhang struggled to accept her loss to Namajunas but claims she is ready for the rematch and predicts a very different outcome on Nov. 6.

“I feel very good and ready,” Zhang said. “I’m so happy, I think I’m getting better and better every day. Fight Ready has Henry Cejudo, Eddie Cha, coach Eric. I think it’s very special here.

“I think our technique together [is good], I’m wrestling, [working on] BJJ, my striking is getting better than before.”

Esparza is cultivating a positive mindset despite her title snub and expects to fight the winner of Namajunas-Zhang 2 sometime next year.

“I’ve worked many years to fight my way back to a title shot. I have faith good things will come, and in the meantime I will use this time to strength build and skill build! May the best woman win… I got next”.

UFC 268, which features Namajunas vs. Zhang as the co-main event, will take place on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.