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UFC 261 fight card primer: Weili Zhang vs. Rose Namajunas

The co-main event of UFC 261 will feature a women’s strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas.

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The co-main event of UFC 261 will feature a women’s strawweight title fight between champion Weili Zhang (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will attempt to defend her belt against Rose Namajunas (9-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC). UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2 airs live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida this Saturday, April 24th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7.00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. and the early prelims kicking off at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Zhang: 31 years old | 5’4” | 63” reach
Namajunas: 28 years old | 5’5” | 65” reach

How did these two get here?

Zhang: W - Joanna Jedrzejczyk (DEC) | W - Jessica Andrade (TKO) | W - Tecia Torres (DEC)
Namajunas: W - Jessica Andrade (DEC) | L - Jessica Andrade (KO) | W - Joanna Jedrzejczyk (DEC)

What have these two done recently?

In just five UFC appearances Weili Zhang has already won the UFC strawweight title and defended it once. Zhang won a split decision against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 last March. The fight was voted as 2020’s Fight of the Year and is arguably the greatest fight in women’s MMA history. If Zhang’s fight with Namajunas is anything like her last outing, we will be in for a treat.

Rose Namajunas has been through quite the journey during her seven years in the UFC. Losing out to Carla Esparza for the inaugural women’s strawweight title in 2014, Namajunas ensured she didn’t make the same mistake three years later when she won the title from Jedrzejczyk in a stunning upset at UFC 217. A loss to Jessica Andrade saw Namajunas lose the belt, but she avenged the defeat the following year at UFC 251.

Why should you care?

Zhang and Namajunas are the two best strawweights in the world right now, it will be a great fight.