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Zhang Weili is big favorite for UFC 261 vs Rose Namajunas

Zhang vs. Namayunas UFC 261

  • Zhang Weili opened as a -200 favorite against Rose Namayunas.
  • Zhang vs. Namayunas is one of three title fights at UFC 261 on April 24.
  • Zhang successfully defended the belt against Joanna Jencekcik in her last fight, while Namajunas won back a split decision win over Jessica Andrade.

UFC Women's Light Heavyweight Champion Zhang Weili is the favorite in her second title defense against Rose Namayunas.

The reigning champion became the favorite of -200 bets at the online bookmaker BetOnline. Meanwhile, the challenger and former champion returned as a weak player at +170 bets. Simply put, a $ 200 bet is needed to win $ 100 on Zhang, and a $ 100 bet on Thug Rose will generate a $ 170 profit.

Zhang and Namayunas' bout is scheduled for April 24 at UFC 261 as one of three title fights that will mark the return of paying fans to a UFC event for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

A confrontation of epic proportions

Zhang successfully defends the title in March 2020 against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248, considered by many to be UFC 2020's Fight of the Year. The two walked back and forth in a skirmish of epic proportions, in which Zhang won a split decision over Jedrzejczyk.

The 31-year-old from Handan, Hebei Province, China, won the title by knocking out Jessica Andrade at the UFC at ESPN +15 on Aug 31, 2019, becoming the first Chinese and East Asian player to win a world title in the UFC. Zhang is currently gone. 3rd pound for pound female fighter in the UFC.

She has not lost a fight since her professional MMA debut in 2013, and has not lost in five matches in the Octagon. The former Kunlun Fight light heavyweight champion has an impressive record of 21-1, 10 KOs and 7 submissions. Her initial -200 chances are her highest since opening -245 against Danielle Taylor in her UFC debut.

Knockout punch

Namajunas is a former light heavyweight champion looking to regain her belt. The 28-year-old footballer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin won the UFC light heavyweight title by ending Joanna Jedrzejczyk's stranglehold in the division. Bandit Rose more convincingly defeated Jedrzejczyk in a rematch, but she lost the title in her second title defense after being knocked out after hitting Jessica Andrade's body.

The former TUF 20 semi-finalist took revenge on Andrade by defeating the Brazilian via split decision in a rematch at UFC 251 on July 12, 2020. Namayunas' record is 9-4 with one knockout and five submissions wins. In addition to defeating Jedrziejczyk, she scored notable victories over Angela Hill, Paige Van Zant, Theseia Torres and Michelle Waterson.

Tag Rose's win over Andrade brought her back to the top of the UFC women's light heavyweight rankings and gave her a chance to fight for the title once again. This is the fourth time in the past five fights that she has taken an underdog position. Namajunas is showing a perfect 3-0 result in the last three fights when he opens up an underdog position.

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