Zhang Weili Defends UFC Crown Against Former Champ Rose Namajunas at UFC 261

Shanghai – UFC®, the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, announces the main event for UFC 261 will be UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili making her second title defense against #1 contender Rose Namajunas.

UFC 261ZHANG vs NAMAJUNAS will air live in Asia on Sunday, April 25 with the main card starting at 10:00 a.m. Shanghai.


UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili (21-1, fighting out of Beijing, China) is the first woman in history from China and the broader Asia region to capture a UFC world title. She surged into title contention with wins over UFC veterans Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres, then took the belt from Jessica Andrade with a 42 second knockout in front of a hometown crowd at UFC Shenzhen in August of 2019. In 2020, Zhang made her first successful title defense against the former five-time defending strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in what was ultimately awarded Fight of the Year 2020. She rides a win streak of an incredible 20 fights going into her second title defense, with 11 first-round finishes, 10 KOs and 7 submissions.

#1 strawweight contender Rose Namajunas (9-4, Colorado, USA) has consistently delivered exceptional performances, including her submission of Michelle Waterson in 2017, followed by back-to-back victories against then champion Jedrzejczyk, winning by KO to capture the belt that same year, and then by decision to keep it in the 2018 rematch and title defense. In 2019, the slam heard round the world saw Jessica Andrade take the strawweight title from Namajunas, but she took revenge with a Fight of the Night win over Andrade in 2020.

UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili versus #1 challenger Rose Namajunas has the potential to be an instant classic from two athletes who have repeatedly proven they are willing to give everything they have inside the Octagon.


As previously announced, the co-main event will feature UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (19-3, Kyrgyzstan/Tiger Muay Thai Phuket) who will defend her title for the fifth time against former strawweight champion and now #1 flyweight contender Jessica Andrade (21-8, Brazil).

Location and bout information will be announced over the coming weeks. For the latest information on this event, please visit:


All bouts live and subject to change.

Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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