Best and worst from UFC Fight Night 157: Andrade vs. Zhang
UFC Fight Night 157 is in the books and we’ve got a new UFC Strawweight champion in the form of Weili Zhang. The Chinese fighter pulled off a massive upset to TKO Jessica Andrade in the first minute of their title fight in front of her home country fans, in what will probably go down as one of the year’s most memorable moments.
Outside of that, the card was relatively unmemorable, but those appear to be the breaks when you’re talking about an international UFC show these days.
Here are the best and worst moments from UFC Fight Night 157: Andrade vs. Zhang.
#1 Best: Zhang’s win could open the floodgates for the UFC in China
Well, nothing else could really be in this slot, could it? Jessica Andrade came into this fight, her first title defence since unseating Rose Namajunas in May, looking confident, and didn’t appear to be treating challenger Weili Zhang as any kind of threat. Big mistake. Andrade tried to walk ‘Magnum’ down as she’d done to so many opponents before, but got hurt by a big right hand before a barrage of elbows and knees from the clinch had her finished in just 42 seconds.
This was an amazing win by Zhang; she’d always shown huge potential, but to say this was a breakout performance from her would be an understatement. Better still – from a UFC point of view at least – is the fact that China has its first ever UFC champion. The promotion has been dying to make an inroad into China for years now – remember the diabolical TUF: China series from 2014? – but the country just hasn’t been able to produce a top-level UFC fighter, until now that is.
UFC president Dana White has now suggested Zhang’s first title defense – likely against top contender Tatiana Suarez – will be in the US, but I’m not sure that’s a smart move. Why not try to do another big show in China instead to really cement Zhang as a star there? Although to be fair, on this form it’d be hard to bet against her anyway and so the UFC could always do a China show as her second defense.
Simply put, this was one of the best and most memorable UFC title victories in some time.