Not only do we get the Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley fight as our main event at UFC 292, but we also get a second title fight between fan favorite Weili Zhang and Amanda Lemos. The bout will have Weili’s strawweight title on the line and offers a fantastic fight in the women’s best division.
Check out our story on the main event and see how we got to this point!
Weili Zhang: A Chance At New Blood
For some time, China’s first UFC champion Weili Zhang has been in a round robin with Rose Namajunas, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade. When Zhang won the title back in 2022, she reminded everyone just how good she is. UFC 292 gives her an option to distance herself from the rest of the pack.
Weili’s run to the title was seemingly meteoric. Upon joining the UFC, Zhang racked up a mind blowing 20 fight winning streak. After capturing the title from Jessica Andrade in 2019 with a spectacular first round knockout, Weili had an all time classic fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk who was looking to recapture the throne that was once hers.
After that war, fans were rabid to see her versus Rose Namajunas. After just over a minute of fighting, Namajunas knocked out Zhang with a high kick that put out Weili Zhang’s lights out. The two rematched seven months later and Weili still couldn’t get it done and lost the split decision. She would return to rematch Joanna Jedrzejczyk and knocked her out in the second round in round 2 with a spinning back fist.
Fortunately for Weili, Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas stunk up the joint so much that nobody wanted a rematch and the former champ Weili Zhang was handed the title shot. There, she put on a career best performance and dominated the new champ in Esparza.
Now, Weili Zhang will look to make her first real defense of her title and add a new name to her ledger.
Amanda Lemos: Chance of a Lifetime at UFC 292
The path to the title hasn’t been a straight line for Amanda Lemos but she finally arrives at UFC 292. After losing her UFC debut, Lemos rattled off five straight wins. Finally at the big show, Lemos will look to bring another title home to her home country of Brazil.
After defeating Montserrat Ruiz in 2021, Lemos was given a fight with Angela Hill. She took that fight via split decision, as everyone does with Hill. That is when she was put in a title eliminator against Jessica Andrade, the former champion.
Unfortunately for her, Lemos was caught in a standing arm triangle in a loss that was a rather bad look. Getting bullied like that never helps your title chances.
Not to be deterred, Amanda Lemos hopped back on the horse again three months later and choked out Michelle Waterson-Gomez in the second round. That fight earned her a shot against Marina Rodriguez and the winner would get a title shot. In the third round, Rodriguez was knocked out and Lemos cemented her chance with a date with the queen.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.