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Zhang Weili as soon as once more proved that she’s the very best ladies’s strawweight on this planet with a unanimous choice win over Amanda Lemos within the co-main occasion from UFC 292 on the TD Backyard in Boston.
It could not have been extra decisive for the champion.
Zhang wasted no time in taking the lead. She simply outworked the contender within the opening spherical. She landed an early takedown and took each alternative to beat Lemos up on the bottom in a lopsided spherical.
Kevin Iole @KevinI
What a loopy Spherical 1! How did Lemos survive? For that matter, how did Zhang? I’ve received Zhang 10-9. Considered 10-8 however she was almost submitted herself
The one saving grace for Lemos was a D’Arce choke try that gave Zhang a scare whereas she was working towards touchdown extra ground-and-pound.
The dominance continued within the second spherical. Zhang was in a position to wrestle Lemos to the bottom any time that she needed to and her potential to rack up injury gave her a giant early lead on scorecards.
By way of two rounds the strike differential was 125 to 4 with one-way visitors that includes the champion working to put on down her challenger.
Lemos did make a stand within the fourth spherical. She landed a proper hand as Zhang was throwing a kick and it knocked down the champion. She additionally squeezed on one other tight D’Arce choke however could not maintain onto it.
The putting whole did not get any higher for Lemos:
In the end, Zhang proved to be the higher fighter in every single place the combat went and confirmed why she is the champion.
Technically, that is Zhang’s first title protection in her second reign as champion so it is perhaps a bit early to name her a dominant champion. However she’s been dominant in all of her fights outdoors of her two losses to Rose Namajunas.
Whereas she hasn’t had the title lengthy, she now holds wins over three of the top five ranked fighters in her division, together with two wins over Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
Happily, there are nonetheless fascinating challenges that await the champion. Yan Xiaonan is of specific curiosity. The 34-year-old has received back-to-back fights towards Mackenzie Dern and Jéssica Andrade with the latter coming by the use of first-round knockout.
Zhang has already expressed an curiosity in combating her earlier than the yr is out. The potential matchup of two Chinese language fighters assembly up with a title on the road of their dwelling nation is one thing she is hoping will change into a actuality.
“I met Dana within the locker room after the combat and he stated, ‘Let’s do it in China.’ So if we are able to make a UFC China occasion occur, let’s pull it up,” stated Xiaonan throughout an look on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani h/t Kristen King of Bloody Elbow. “I feel it is potential, yeah, most likely sooner or later on the finish of this yr.”
Tatiana Suarez additionally stands out as an inexpensive opponent. She is 10-0 and coming off a win over Andrade, however the attract of pitting the 2 Chinese language fighters in a China occasion may push Xiaonan to the entrance of the road.
Both means, Zhang figures to be the favourite.