The UFC 261 co-main event was the setting where the promotion’s former strawweight queen, Rose Namajunas, knocked out the current champ Weili Zhang with a sensational head kick just 1:18 into the opening round. It was the lead foot that connected and sent Zhang falling to the floor, and the followup ground strikes were pretty much academic.
Rose accomplished something special tonight by reaching the mountain top for the second time in her career. Doing it once is beyond rare, and doing it twice is truly historic. Zhang’s UFC title reign ends with just one successful defense and the first defeat of her UFC career.
Zhang came out looking to kick at the legs, while Namajunas was extremely active with her footwork. Then KABOOM! Rose unleashed a head kick that sent Zhang crashing to the canvas!!! Namajunas pounced with fight-ending ground and pound and re-claimed her strawweight belt. With her last loss coming to someone no longer in her division, what will be next for Namajunas?