Weili Zhang: Game Plan Was Right, But Failure To Execute Led To Defeat Vs. Rose Namajunas
UFC 268 saw former women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili go up against current champion Rose Namajunas in her quest to reclaim the title she once held.
The fight lived up to expectation as both fighters went the distance and judges were needed to settle the result.
Zhang lost the fight with the slight margins as Namajunas won the split decision in her favor. It was Zhang’s second consecutive loss in the octagon, both coming at the hands of Namajunas.
Weili had moved her fight camp at Fight Ready in Arizona, collaborating with former two-division champion Henry Cejudo. The differences were evident as Zhang threw more low kicks throughout the contest and was frequently involved in the clinch, using her size advantage over the champion.
“The kicking was part of the plan, but I think I only did a small percentage of what we had planned and I could do so much better,” Weili added.
Now, Weili wants a trilogy fight with the Champion, and she is confident that she will get the title that once belonged to her.
But with two straight losses to Namajunas in the promotion, Weili’s next return to the octagon against the reigning champion is not imminent. Zhang could get any other top-ranked strawweight before she can again plunge for that title shot.
As far as Namajunas is concerned, she will likely face no.2 ranked Bantamweight Carla Esparza who has racked up straight five wins in the Octagon, with victories over Michelle Waterson, Marina Rodriguez, and Xiaonan Yan.
The Chinese mixed martial artist believes that the game plan in the rematch against Namajunas was right, but the failure to execute the plan perfectly led to her demise.
“I think the overall game plan worked well, but I did maybe 60 or 70 percent of what I could do,” she said.