Weili Zhang and Tulsi Gabbard Train Together at Roufusport
Newly crowned UFC Strawweight champion Weili Zhang is enjoying her newfound fame. As an international draw, it almost seems like Zhang became a star overnight. After dethroning former champ Jessica Andrade, Zhang’s star power has been felt all throughout China. Now, Zhang’s presence is being felt in the United States as well. So much so, that presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently spotted training with Zhang.
Both Zhang and Gabbard worked out together at Roufusport. Footage of the pair training together was visible via Instagram. The newfound apparent friendship between bout Zhang and Gabbard started due to unfortunate circumstances.
Zhang’s Visa Issues
Weili noted that she was having major issues securing a US visa. Securing the visa is not only important to Zhang, but also to the UFC. After all, the promotion has plans of having Zhang defend her title on US soil. Knowing that China will support Zhang throughout her career, it’s important for the UFC to be able to migrate their viewership to American platforms.
When US Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard received the news of Zhang’s denied visa status, she reached out to help.
Gabbard is the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. She is also the first female combat veteran to run for president. So, it’s no surprise that Gabbard was able to hold her own during the training sessions at Rufusport.
Zhang shared the moment on Instagram.
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Today I had the honor to meet and train with Miss @tulsigabbard and she is a very strong martial artist. 💪🏼 We had a great training session taught by @coachdukeroufus and his team. It is a happy day when martial arts brings people together. Now I am looking forward to watching the fights here in Boston 🙏🏼 #ufcboston
Like many others, Weili used the moment as a beacon of hope. Current turmoil between both the USA and China have caused a rift between the two powerful countries. However, Zhang is thankful that the power of mixed martial arts has brought both her and Gabbard together.
Zhang and Gabbard Train
Video footage of the two training can be found below.
The minute-long clip features Zhang and Gabbard meeting for the first time. Next, the clip goes into Tulsi getting in some pad work with head coach Duke Roufus. Lastly, the clips end with both Zhang and Gabbard lightly sparring each other.
It’ll be interesting to see what is next for Zhang. Even when it seems like the world is spiraling out of control, small glimpses of hope like this prove that working together is always the best solution.