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UFC 281 video: Weili Zhang hits crucifix RNC on Carla Esparza to recapture 115-pound title

Check out the full fight video highlights of Weili Zhang submitting Carla Esparza to reclaim her strawweight title in the UFC 281 co-main event.

The UFC 281 co-main event saw the strawweight title change hands yet again. Weili Zhang reclaimed her 115-pound belt by submitting Carla Esparza with a crafty crucifix rear-naked choke in the second round.

The opening round saw Zhang get ahead on the strike count early on, but then Esparza started to wrestle. We got some pretty sweet scrambles because of it, but it was clear that Zhang did her homework. Zhang was hanging in the scrambles, refusing to allow Esparza to lock down top position. Once Zhang realized the crucifix from the back mount, it was only a matter of time before Carla was tapping.

Zhang is once again the queen of 115-pounds, and Esparza again fails to manifest a successful title defense.

Check out Tim Bissell’s play-by-play description of Weili Zhang’s finish of Carla Esparza:


Zhang returns to the pressure with Esparza circling. Zhang stings Esparza with a jab. Esparza shoots and nearly finishes it, but Zhang ends up on top. Another scramble ensues and Zhang catches Esparza in a modified crucifix with a RNC. Zhang adjusts, squeezes, and gets the tap. We have a new strawweight champion!

Zhang Weili defeated Carla Esparza via submission (RNC) at 1:05 of RD2