Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk put on the most exciting women’s MMA fight in the history of the UFC. Zhang was defending her UFC strawweight title for the first time in the co-main event of UFC 248.
The fight was filled with back and forth action between the two. Both fighters exchanged heavy leathers throughout the fight. This victory has elevated Zhang to a new level of stardom. While she was already popular in China following her victory over Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzhen, the current win will make her one of the most popular athletes in China.
Weili Zhang’s success also means the UFC’s success in China. The People’s republic of China has the largest middle-class population in the world and global brands have long sought to gain a market share in the country. UFC is following the suit of the NBA. The National Basketball Association is very popular in China.
The growth of the NBA in China was fueled by the rise of Yao Ming. UFC seems to be wanting to follow a similar path. UFC currently has a TV deal with PPTV is worth $50 Million. But the Las Vegas based MMA promotion is already in talks with Chinese officials to double the media rights.
Chinese fans paid $57.5 Million to watch Weili Zhang vs Joanna Jedrzejcyzk
UFC is seeking $100 million from PPTV. UFC signed the TV deal with Chinese sports broadcaster in 2016.
According to TJ on the Ramsey Dewey podcast, Chinese broadcaster PPTV paid the UFC $7 million for the annual rights to UFC events in China and made $57.5 million from subscribers for just UFC 248 who wanted to see Weili Zhang
This explains the reason behind UFC wanting to double it’s media rights fees in China.
Full UFC 248 results
- Champ Israel Adesanya def. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) — to retain middleweight title
- Champ Weili Zhang def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) — to retain women’s strawweight title
- Beneil Dariush def. Drakkar Klose via knockout (punch) — Round 2, 1:00
- Neil Magny def. Li Jingliang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alex Oliveira def. Max Griffin via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sean O’Malley def. Jose Quinonez via TKO (punches) — Round 1, 2:02
- Mark Madsen def. Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Rodolfo Vieira def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (arm-triangle choke) — Round 1, 2:58
- Gerald Meerschaert def. Deron Winn via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 3, 2:13
- Giga Chikadze def. Jamall Emmers via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Danaa Batgerel def. Guido Cannetti via knockout (punches) — Round 1, 3:01