Zhang Weili (Chinese: 张伟丽; pinyin: Zhāng Wěilì; born August 13, 1989) is a Chinese mixed martial artist. She was the former Kunlun Fight (KLF) strawweight champion and currently competes in the strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she is the current UFC Women's Strawweight World Champion. She is the first ever Chinese and East Asian champion in UFC history. As of November 23, 2020, she is ranked #3 in UFC women's pound-for-pound rankings.
August 13, 1989
Handan, Hebei, China
|Height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
|Weight||115 lb (52 kg; 8.2 st)|
|Reach||63 in (160 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Beijing, China|
|Team||Black Tiger Fight Club|
|Trainer||Xuejun Cai (MMA) |
Pedro Jordão (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)
|Rank||Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Pedro Jordão|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Zhang was born in Handan, Hebei, China. When she moved to Beijing, she worked several jobs: cashier at a supermarket, kindergarten teacher, and hotel desk clerk. She started training in martial arts at a young age, beginning with Shaolin Kung Fu after she was inspired by Kung Fu films. At 12, she began training in Sanda and a Chinese style of wrestling called Shuai Jiao. Later in her career she would also pick up Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) after watching others grappling in the gym where she worked as a fitness instructor. She then transitioned to MMA. In a Chinese television show in December 2019, she mentioned that Hong Kong Action Superstar Donnie Yen was her inspiration to compete in MMA, and that Donnie Yen's 2007 feature film Flashpoint was her first introduction to the sport of MMA.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Zhang made her professional MMA debut in 2013. After losing her professional debut to Meng Bo by unanimous decision, she would go on to win 11 straight fights before challenging Simone Duarte for the Kunlun Fight Female Strawweight Championship on May 25, 2017, at Kunlun Fight MMA 11. She won the fight via TKO in the second round.
On July 22, 2017, Zhang attempted to win a second title, when she challenged Seo Ye-dam (서예담) for the vacant Top FC Strawweight Championship at TOP FC 15. She won the fight via TKO in the second round to capture the title.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
UFC Strawweight ChampionEdit
Zhang faced Jéssica Andrade for the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship on August 31, 2019, at UFC on ESPN+ 15. She won the fight via first-round technical knockout to become the new Strawweight champion. The win also earned Zhang her first Performance of the Night bonus award.
In the first defense of her title, Zhang was scheduled to face former UFC Strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk on March 7, 2020 at UFC 248. Zhang moved her training camp from China to Thailand and later moved to Dubai due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as TSA rules stated a two-week quarantine was imposed for any non-US citizen be granted entry to the United States if they had recently been in China. After multiple failed attempts to obtain a US visa to fight in UFC's events in the US, on February 19, 2020 Zhang was granted US visa to fight at UFC 248. Zhang won the fight via split decision, which marked her first successful UFC Strawweight title defense. This win also marked her first Fight of the Night award.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Mixed martial artsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Women's Strawweight Championship (One time, Current)
- One successful title defense
- First ever Chinese champion in UFC history
- Fight of the Night (One time) vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Jéssica Andrade
- 2020 Fight of the Year vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- 2020 UFC President's Choice Fight of the Year vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- UFC Women's Strawweight Championship (One time, Current)
- Kunlun Fight
- Top Fighting Championship
- Top FC Strawweight Champion (One time)
- World MMA Awards
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- MMA Fighting
- The Athletic
- Bleacher Report
- Cageside Press
- BT Sport
- MMA Weekly
- Combat Press
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|22 matches||21 wins||1 loss|
|Win||21–1||Joanna Jędrzejczyk||Decision (split)||UFC 248||March 7, 2020||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||20–1||Jéssica Andrade||TKO (knees and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang||August 31, 2019||1||0:42||Shenzhen, China||Won the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||19–1||Tecia Torres||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 235||March 2, 2019||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||18–1||Jessica Aguilar||Submission (armbar)||UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2||November 24, 2018||1||3:41||Beijing, China|
|Win||17–1||Danielle Taylor||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 227||August 4, 2018||3||5:00||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||16–1||Bianca Sattelmayer||Submission (armbar)||Kunlun Fight MMA 15||October 3, 2017||1||3:29||Seoul, South Korea||Catchweight (119 lbs) bout.|
|Win||15–1||Marilia Santos||TKO (elbows)||Kunlun Fight MMA 14||August 28, 2017||2||3:20||Yantai, China||Defended the KLF Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||14–1||Ye Dam Seo||TKO (elbow and punches)||Top FC 15||July 22, 2017||2||1:35||Seoul, South Korea||Won the vacant Top FC Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||13–1||Aline Sattelmayer||Decision (unanimous)||Kunlun Fight MMA 12||June 1, 2017||3||5:00||Yantai, China||Defended the KLF Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||12–1||Simone Duarte||TKO (punches)||Kunlun Fight MMA 11||May 25, 2017||1||2:29||Jining, China||Won the KLF Strawweight Championship.|
|Win||11–1||Nayara Hemily||Submission (guillotine choke)||Kunlun Fight MMA 9||February 25, 2017||1||0:41||Sanya, China|
|Win||10–1||Veronica Grenno||TKO (knees to the body)||Kunlun Fight MMA 8||January 2, 2017||1||1:50||Sanya, China|
|Win||9–1||Karla Benitez||KO (punch)||Kunlun Fight MMA 7||December 15, 2016||1||2:15||Beijing, China|
|Win||8–1||Maira Mazar||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Kunlun Fight 53||September 24, 2016||1||4:11||Beijing, China|
|Win||7–1||Emi Fujino||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Kunlun Fight 49||August 7, 2016||2||2:51||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||6–1||Liliya Kazak||KO (head kick)||Kunlun Fight 47||July 10, 2016||2||4:13||Nanjing, China|
|Win||5–1||Alice Ardelean||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Kunlun Fight MMA 5 / Top FC 11||May 22, 2016||2||4:41||Seoul, South Korea|
|Win||4–1||Svetlana Gotsyk||TKO (punches)||Kunlun Fight 38 / Super Muaythai 2016||February 21, 2016||2||2:29||Pattaya, Thailand||Strawweight debut.|
|Win||3–1||Samantha Jean-Francois||TKO (punches)||Kunlun Fight 35||December 19, 2015||1||3:37||Luoyang, China|
|Win||2–1||Mei Huang||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Chinese Kung Fu Championships||October 27, 2014||1||0:40||China||Catchweight (132 lbs) bout.|
|Win||1–1||Shuxia Wu||Submission (armbar)||Chinese Kung Fu Championships||April 17, 2014||1||1:56||China||Catchweight (132 lbs) bout.|
|Loss||0–1||Meng Bo||Decision (unanimous)||China MMA League||November 9, 2013||2||5:00||Xuchang, China|
|Professional record breakdown|
|4 matches||2 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||2–2||Guan Acui||Decision||Kunlun Fight 68||December 17, 2017||3||3:00||Zunyi, China||Tournament final.|
|Win||2–1||Chang Ningning||Decision||Kunlun Fight 68||December 17, 2017||3||3:00||Zunyi, China||Tournament semifinal.|
|Win||1–1||Alma Juniku||Decision||Kunlun Fight 68||December 17, 2017||3||3:00||Zunyi, China||Tournament quarterfinal.|
|Loss||0–1||Satoko Sasaki||Decision (Unanimous)||Krush 35||December 14, 2013||3||3:00||Tokyo, Japan|
- "Weili Zhang Official - UFC Profile". UFC.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2018.
- "Weili Zhang". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- "Weili Zhang | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- "EXCLUSIVE | Weili Zhang: Remember the name". www.bjpenn.com. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- Guilherme Cruz (September 2, 2019). "Coach expects long reign for Weili Zhang after impressive UFC title win". mmafighting.com.
- "Zhang Weili named China's first UFC champion after defeating Jessica Andrade in just 42 seconds". CNN. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
- "Zhang Weili's long and difficult road to MMA stardom". China Daily. 2020-03-12. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
- "A Zhang Weili interview on Youtube". Mu Shin Martial Culture. 2019-12-22. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
- "Interview: Kang Kyung Ho, Zhang Weili talk about fighting at UFC 227". MMA India. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- "China Variety TV Show - Roast! with Zhang Weili and Donnie Yen". Youtube. 2019-12-10. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- "Kunlun Fight MMA 11 Results". www.fight-madness.com (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- Aittama, Zach. "Kunlun Fight MMA 12 Results". Combat Press. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- "张伟丽险被KO，遭对手连续重拳击中鼻血染红脸颊". www.sohu.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- "Here are 4 new bouts added to UFC 227 at Staples Center". Press Enterprise. 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
- "UFC 227 results: Weili Zhang wins 17th straight, outpoints gritty Danielle Taylor". MMAjunkie. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
- "Jessica Aguilar to Face Weili Zhang at UFC Fight Night Beijing on Nov. 24". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
- "UFC Fight Night 141 play-by-play and live results". MMAjunkie. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
- Doyle, Dave (2018-11-29). "Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang set for UFC 235". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- "UFC 235 results: Weili Zhang shuts down Tecia Torres for 19th straight win". MMA Junkie. 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
- Redactie (2019-06-19). "Jessica Andrade defends title against Weili Zhang during UFC Shenzhen's Main Event". mmadna.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-06-19.
- McClory, Mike (2019-08-31). "UFC Shenzhen Results: Weili Zhang Shocks With Quick TKO of Andrade, Becomes First Chinese UFC Champ". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "UFC on ESPN+ 15 bonuses: Weili Zhang, Li Jingliang get no-brainer $50,000 checks". mmajunkie.com. 2019-08-03. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- Adam Hill (2019-12-13). "Strawweight champ Weili Zhang to fight at UFC 248 in Las Vegas". LasVegasReview-Journal.com. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
- "Sources: Zhang leaves China over virus concerns". ESPN.com. 2020-02-06. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- "'Now I can put my heart into this': Chinese UFC fighter Zhang Weili obtains US visa". South China Morning Post. 2020-02-18. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- Tabuena, Anton (2019-10-08). "UFC champ Weili Zhang's visa denied again, US presidential candidate offers help". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- Cruz, Guilherme (2020-02-19). "Zhang Weili granted U.S. visa, Yan Xiaonan lands in Auckland for UFC fight". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- "UFC 248 results: Zhang Weili defends title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in all-time classic". MMA Junkie. 2020-03-08. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
- Dan Hiergesell (2020-03-08). "UFC 248 Bonuses! O'Malley Banks $50K For 'Prelims' TKO". MMAmania. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
- Sport, El Intra (2021-02-28). "¡Es oficial! Rose Namajunas irá por el título de Zhang Weili en el UFC 261". El Intra Sports (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-03-09.
- Thomas Gerbasi (December 24, 2020). "The 2020 Awards: 10 Best Fights". Ultimate Fighting Championship.
- "President's Choice". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "MMA Junkie's 'Fight of the Month' for March: A title fight for the ages". mmajunkie.com. March 31, 2020.
- "MMA Junkie's 2020 'Fight of the Year': Weili vs. Jedrzejczyk, the GOAT of women's fights". MMAjunkie.com. January 4, 2021.
- "Amanda Nunes, Israel Adesanya, Jorge Masvidal pace major winners at World MMA Awards". MMAjunkie.com. December 27, 2020.
- Meltzer, Dave. "March 1, 2021, Wrestling Observer Newsletter 2020 awards issue, Elimination Chamber". Figure4Weekly. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
- Alexander K. Lee (December 28, 2020). "MMA Fighting's 2020 Fight of the Year: Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk". mmafighting.com.
- Shaheen Al-Shatti (December 23, 2020). "Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk: 2020 MMA Fight of the Year". The Athletic.
- Tom Taylor (December 21, 2020). "Bleacher Report 2020 MMA Awards: Best Fight". Bleacher Report.
- Staff (December 29, 2020). "MMA 2020 Year in Review: Fight of the Year". Cageside Press.
- Tristen Critchfield (December 28, 2020). "Sherdog's 2020 Fight of the Year". Sherdog.
- @btsportufc (December 28, 2020). "🏆 Fight of the Year - Weili Zhang v Joanna Jedrzejczyk" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "MMAWeekly's Best of 2020". mmaweekly.com. January 1, 2021.
- "Combat Press 2020 MMA Awards: Fight of the Year Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk". combatpress.com. January 2021.
- "Kunlun Fight 68 Fight Card: Heavyweight and Mulan Legend Tournaments - LiverKick". 28 November 2017.
- Tulsi Gabbard on Facebook Watch, retrieved 2020-03-11
| 5th UFC Women's Strawweight Champion
August 31, 2019 – present