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Zhang retains strawweight title in all-Chinese affair at UFC 300

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-14 17:37
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Zhang Weili (red gloves) reacts after defeating Yan Xiaonan (blue gloves) during UFC 300 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, April 13, 2024. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS -- In the first-ever all-Chinese title fight in UFC history, Zhang Weili defeated Yan Xiaonan by unanimous decision Saturday, retaining her strawweight world championship at the T-Mobile Arena.

Zhang, 33, kicked off her second defense of her second title reign with a low kick. The fight, the co-main event of UFC 300, appeared to be over at the end of the first round when Zhang applied a tight rear-naked choke, leaving Yan seemingly unconscious in the final seconds. However, Yan managed to survive and continue the bout.

Zhang maintained her wrestling dominance in the second round, nearly submitting Yan with a total control time of nearly four minutes.

Yan regained her momentum in standing in the third and fourth rounds as she took down Zhang several times with sidekicks and straight right hands.

Despite Yan's efforts, Zhang prevailed in the final round with her grappling skills, sealing the victory with scores of 49-45, 49-45, 49-45.

"It's a hard-fought win," Zhang said after the fight. "Xiaonan is a true fighter. We will keep at it and hopefully, there will be more all-Chinese affairs in the future."

With five title fight wins, Zhang now ranks second in UFC women's strawweight history, trailing only Joanna Jedrzejczyk who has six wins.

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