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Zhang: Historic triumph my birthday gift to China

China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-02 08:45
Zhang Weili of China celebrates her victory over Jessica Andrade of Brazil in their UFC strawweight championship bout at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center on Saturday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo/VCG]

UFC's first Chinese world champion dedicates victory to nation's upcoming 70th anniversary

Patriotic Zhang Weili dedicated her historic Ultimate Fighting Championship victory in Shenzhen on Saturday to the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

The 30-year-old fighter from Hebei province produced a huge upset to knock out Brazilian Jessica Andrade and become China's first UFC world champion.

Zhang entered the strawweight bout as a big underdog to Andrade, who is tied with compatriot Amanda Nunes for the most UFC wins (11) by a woman.

However, after a flurry of devastating knee kicks, elbows and punches, Andrade was floored in the 42nd second of the first round and the challenger was declared winner by TKO.

"Last year in Beijing I vowed to become the first Chinese champion, and I did it!" said an elated Zhang.

"As a Chinese person, I feel so proud. Today, I want to dedicate this victory to the 70th anniversary of the motherland," she added, referring to the approaching Oct 1 celebrations.

UFC boss Dana White declared Zhang "the most vicious woman on the planet right now" and revealed he is already planning the new champ's next fight in the United States.

White told Xinhua he had received calls from agents and marketing companies in the US keen to represent Zhang.

The Chinese champ, however, was not entirely enthusiastic about the idea initially.

"I would like to get on pay-perview for the next fight but I would also like the pay-per-view event to take place in China," Zhang said, before adding: "If Dana wants me to fight in the US, that's fine."

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