Zhang Weili is looking to bounce back big time.
Two losses to the current queen Rose Namajunas won’t stop the former UFC Strawweight Champion from making the ultimate comeback. Weili would nearly win against Namajunas, but would be edged out over 5 rounds in what was a controversial split decision.
Zhang Agrees With The Decision
Many people, including Henry Cejudo, believed the Chinese fighter had won at least 3 rounds against Namajunas. However, the public opinion wouldn’t matter, only the three judges did. Despite the uproar about the scorecards, Zhang accepted the loss herself. There was no debate from her end.
“I think yes, I agree with [the decision],” Zhang told Migu (h/t: South Morning China Post). “Because I did have cardio issues in the last round. It came down to the last round to determine a winner. This was very important.”
Home Away From Home
A month later after the loss, Zhang is reflecting on it, back home in China. In her last fight camp, China’s first champ found a home away from home. For her, it would be at FightReady in Phoenix, Arizona. Inside the gym, Zhang would train with former UFC kings Henry Cejudo and Deveison Figueiredo in the wake of their attempts to win back gold.
While Zhang’s team at FightReady didn’t land her the win at UFC 268, she will be looking to reunite with them come 2022. She will be training with them in February, after Chinese New Year passes.
“I plan to go back to the US to train after Chinese New Year, have a camp there, and prepare to fight.
“Next year I may spend more time out of the country. When you first arrive, there are so many things to get acclimated to. So staying over there for a longer amount of time is good. Also the coaches and training partners over there are very good.”
Who Weili Wants Next
‘Magnum’ looks to reload in February, to be locked and loaded as early as May. She has one opponent in mind: Carla Esparza.
“I want to fight Carla,” Zhang said. “But, now we have to see if the UFC would arrange it. I just saw [Esparza] said she wants to fight in May because she is getting married in May and she wants to fight before that. So we have to see about the timing.”
Both ‘Thug’ Rose and Esparza may not agree with what was just said. Namajunas says she wants to defend her title against Esparza next. Time will tell with how the cookie crumbles with ‘The Cookie Monster’.