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UFC 261 Co-main, Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas: Stats, Prediction & Analysis

Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas is an exciting strawweight matchup that features the co-main event at UFC 261. The winner of this fight can be considered the greatest women strawweight in UFC history as the winner would have wins over all the former strawweight champion except Carla Esparza.

Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas is guaranteed to be the best fight of the night. So who would win this clash of the former champion vs the current champion?

Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas Stats:

Zhang Weili

Wins/Losses- 21/1 (10 KOs/ 7 Submissions)
Height- 5 ft 4 inches
Reach- 63 inches
Striking accuracy- 45%
Grappling accuracy- 24%
Significant wins- Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade, Tecia Torres

Rose Namajunas

Wins/Losses- 9/4 (1 TKO, 5 Submissions)
Height-5 ft 5 inches
Reach- 65 inches
Striking accuracy- 41%
Grappling accuracy- 53%
Significant wins- Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade, Michelle Waterson, Angela Hill

UFC 261 Co-main Event Prediction

Zhang vs Namajunas striking

Rose Namajunas is one of the best strikers in the division if not the best. What makes her striking so effective and exciting to watch is her distance management. Her footwork is brilliant and she has fast hands. She is predominantly a boxer but she can mix it up with her leg kicks as well.

If we look at Rose’s last two fights, then it’s obvious that she is a master at managing distance and using her reach to pick apart her opponent. She did a lot of damage with her leg kicks against Jessica Andrade and that’s what she should aim to do against Zhang Weili.

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Zhang Weili is a phenomenal striker. But she is a lot different from Rose Namajunas in striking. Zhang Weili looks to close the gap and be the aggressor in the fight. Her leg kicks can play a huge factor in this fight especially considering the fact that footwork is a huge aspect of Rose Namajunas’ game plan.

Zhang Weili invested heavily in leg kicks in her last fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and landed 33% of her total strikers by leg kicks. And that’s what she should ideally do against Rose Namajunas as well, which would limit the lateral movement of Namajunas.

Zhang Weili
UFC women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang of China and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland during UFC 248 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)/Las Vegas Sun via AP) ORG XMIT: NVLVS

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Besides that, Zhang Weili is the more powerful striker amongst the two. But, Rose Namajunas is more precise and accurate with her strikes. If we are to chose who has more chances of getting a knock-out to win it has to be Zhang Weili considering the fact that she already has 10 KOs/TKOs in her resume while Rose has only one TKO and that was against Joanna Jedrzejczyk who was struggling with weight cut at the time.

Zhang vs Namajunas Grappling

In grappling both Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas poise unique threats. Namajunas slows down as the fight progresses and so does Zhang Weili. But the strawweight champion was able to fight at a high pace and high volume against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. And Rose Namajunas got dominated in the third round against Jessica Andrade. But it has to be considered that Andrade hurt Rose in striking first before doing more damage on the ground.

If the fight goes to the ground then Zhang Weilli can do some serious damage with her top pressure which is lethal. But, Namajuas is slicker with her submissions. That being said, it’s highly unlikely that this fight will go to the ground. It’s not an easy task to get Zhang Weili down and Namajunas has a solid takedown defense as well. So it is going to be another striking extravaganza in the strawweight division.

Rose Namajunas is coming off a grueling war against Jessica Andrade in her last fight. On the other hand, Zhang Weili did not have an easy outing in her last fight as well. The strawweight champion went 5 rounds with Joanna Jedrzejczyk in one of the greatest fights. Both had ample time to recover from the damage absorbed in their last fights and it’s unlikely to play a factor at UFC 261.

Considering all the factors, Zhang Weili is a slight favorite to win this fight. Rose Namajunas is a legit threat to the strawweight champion. But, Zhang Weili will fight a better fight than Rose Namajunas as the fight gets past the first two rounds. Rose Namajunas’ best chance has to be in the early rounds. She needs to do a lot of damage at the beginning of the fight as she will have a reach advantage and she will be more precise and faster.

But Namajunas does not pose a huge threat in striking Zhang Weili and the fight is likely to go into the championship rounds. And Zhang Weili will outwork Rose Namajunas and may get a finish in the later rounds.

UFC 261: Co-main Event, Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas Prediction: Zhang Weili by decision

 

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