One of the biggest proponents of women mixed martial arts, Ronda Rousey has high praise for upcoming Chinese mixed martial artist Weili Zhang. Ahead of Zhang’s upcoming title fight with Jessica Andrade, Rousey took to Instagram to express her feelings.
The Chinese rising star Weili Zhang is set to headline UFC on ESPN+ 15 in Shenzhen on Aug. 31, when she challenges Jessica Andrade for the strawweight title. The UFC Hall of Famer reflected on Instagram how far women MMA has come.
“I feel like a proud mama watching how women’s MMA has grown,” Rousey wrote. “Women from all walks of life, from all over the world are rising to the challenge and showing the world what it means to fight like a girl. Weili Zhang @zhangweilimma is a prime example of overcoming adversity – fighting not just through the ranks, but to also get noticed and stand out. I’ve definitely taken notice, and so should you. Best of luck to the ladies fighting August 31 on #UFCfightnight157
Zhang was very pleased on getting the praise from one of her idols. She responded by thanking Rousey for being the guiding light during the tough times.
“Wow. Idol. I remember the first time I saw you fight in UFC in 2013. I thought you were so cool. Then I was inspired to be like you. In this many-lined UFC star cage to play a part of our women’s territory. You give me confidence and direction. If I want to slack off when I don’t want to train I’ll find you fighting. That gave me a lot of encouragement @rondarousey.”
— danawhite (@danawhite) August 22, 2019
Zhang has come a long way after suffering defeat in her first professional fight. She hasn’t looked back ever since and has racked up 19 straight professional victories. After joining the UFC roster last year she has had wins over Danielle Taylor, Jessica Aguilar and most recently against Tecia Torres. She will be the first female fighter to headline a UFC show in China.
Her opponent Jessica Andrade captured the strawweight title by defeating Rose Namajunas via a vicious slam back at UFC 237.