Rose Namajunas reclaimed the UFC strawweight title after she put on a striking masterclass against Zhang Weili in the co-main event of UFC 261. Namajunas handed Zhang Weili her first loss in the UFC as she knocked out the first-ever Chinese champion in the organization with a thunderous head kick in the first round of the fight.
Rose Namajunas executed a brilliant striking game, bouncing off her feet consistently in an evasive fashion. She repeatedly landed low kicks and punches while moving swiftly to avoid Zhang Weili's strikes.
Weili threw some strikes of her own, but Namajunas ensured her evasiveness was on-point, avoiding any real hits from the champion.
In executing her gameplan, Rose Namajunas set up the perfect strike to knock Zhang Weili out. As Zhang Weili expected low shots from her opponent, Namajunas changed levels and went up high to land a precise and devastating head kick, sending the champion crashing into the canvas.
Thus Rose followed up with some hammer fists but Keith Peterson wasted no time in stepping in to call a stop to the fight.
Zhang Weili protested the stoppage after being knocked down by Rose Namajunas
As soon as the fight was called, Zhang Weili began protesting the stoppage. The former champion threw her hands about in frustration as she attempted to make her case with the referee and her corner.
However, the stoppage was ruled legitimate as the highlights showed Zhang Weili going out cold as soon as Rose Namajunas connected the left kick to her opponent's temple.
In the post-fight interview, Zhang Weili claimed that she felt the fight was stopped early. She stated that she was still conscious and could have gotten back into the fight.
However, it was evident to everyone watching that once when Rose Namajunas began landing hammer fists, Zhang Weili was not conscious enough to return Rose Namajunas' strikes.
Zhang Weili also seemed to be stumbling while expressing her frustration at the stoppage, clearly indicative of the damage caused by Rose Namajunas' kick.
Do you think the stoppage was legitimate? Let us know in the comments section!