Ronda Rousey Praises Weili Zhang After 42-Second TKO at UFC Fight Night

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2019

Zhang Weili (C) of China celebrates after defeating Jessica Andrade of Brazil (not pictured) during in their UFC mixed martial arts (MMA) bout in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on August 31, 2019. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
STR/Getty Images

Former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been among those to praise Weili Zhang after she won the strawweight title with a 42-second knockout of Jessica Andrade on Saturday.

Rowdy congratulated Zhang via Instagram, and she has not been the only high-profile name to wish the new champion well:

As Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole observed, Zhang has blown up since her historic win, in which she became the UFC's first ever Chinese champion:

The 30-year-old needed less than a minute to stop Andrade with a series of knees and strikes that sent her to the mat:

Andrade had only won the title in May, when she beat Rose Namajunas at UFC 237.

UFC president Dana White said "nobody wanted to fight" Zhang prior to her victory, but that will change now that she holds the belt:

ESPN's Ariel Helwani noted the significance of her victory:

Zhang is unbeaten in MMA since losing her first fight back in 2013.

She became the strawweight champion of Kunlun Fight and the Top Fighting Championship in Asia in 2017 before making the switch to the UFC last year.

Since then, she has seen off Danielle Taylor, Jessica Aguilar, Tecia Torres and now Andrade to take her record to 20-1.

Rousey successfully defended her bantamweight belt on seven occasions before she was beaten by Holly Holm in 2015.

Replicating that achievement will be difficult for Zhang given the competition she faces in the strawweight division, but wrestling the belt off her will be no mean feat either.

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