Earlier today, the UFC officially announced that a strawweight title fight between champion Zhang Weili and former titleholder Rose Namajunas had been set for UFC 261 on April 24.
A classic in the making!
— UFC (@ufc) March 9, 2021
Originally, the UFC was looking to hold the event in Singapore, but it’s now expected that it will take place in Las Vegas.
The fight against Namajunas will mark Weili’s first fight in over a year, as she hasn’t competed since defending her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 258 last March. The two went toe-to-toe for five rounds, and many considered the contest to be 2020’s “Fight of the Year”.
Before defeating Jedrzejczyk, the 31-year-old Weili scored a vicious 42-second TKO victory over Jessica Andrade in August 2019 to win the 115-pound belt. Currently 5-0 in the UFC, the Chinese champion has won 20-straight fights and is 21-1 as a professional.
Namajunas, meanwhile, has gone 1-1 in her last two fights against Andrade. After losing her title to the Brazilian at UFC 237 in May 2019, “Thug” Rose bounced back and scored a split-decision victory in their rematch at UFC 251 last July.
Before her loss to Andrade, Namajunas had won three-straight fights over Michelle Waterson and Jedrzejczyk, who she beat in back-to-back title bouts in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
In addition to Weili vs. Namajunas, UFC 261 will also feature a women’s flyweight title fight between champion Valentina Schevchenko and Andrade, who many consider to be Shevchenko’s biggest threat at 125 pounds.
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.