Zhang Praises, Wants to Fight Namajunas

While she won the UFC women’s strawweight title from the powerful Jessica Andrade and is expected to defend against former queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk, it’s another former champ in Rose Namajunas that Zhang wants to face.

Jedrzejczyk returned to action with a unanimous decision win over Michelle Waterson at UFC Tampa in October. That decisive victory, plus some back-and-forth jabs with Zhang in the media, solidified Jedrzejczyk as the one who would get the first crack at Zhang, who won the title in China back on August 31.

While Zhang considers the Polish fighter, who held the UFC women’s strawweight title from March 2015 to November 2017, a tough opponent, she considers the biggest test to be Namajunas.

Namajunas upset Jedrzejczyk with a first-round finish at UFC 217 before defeating her in a rematch at UFC 223.

“I always want to fight the best, but it is not my job to determine who the best is,” Zhang said. “If you are asking me if I think Joanna is the best then the answer is no. Joanna is a worthy opponent and is among the best, but in my opinion, Rose is the best martial artist. And when the time is right, it will be an honor to test my skills against hers.”

After the second fight with Jedrzejczyk, Namajunas wasn’t seen in the Octagon again until defending against Andrade at UFC 237. Despite a dominant first round, a slam by Andrade in the second knocked her out. Despite post-fight comments indicating potential retirement, Namajunas recently announced intentions to come back to fighting.

“I think Rose is a true master and know our paths will cross,” Weili said. “I like Rose very much, and to share the octagon with her will be the true test. I look forward to seeing her return, and I wish her good health and prosperity.”

Original Story: MMAJunkie

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