Zhang Weili Set For Title Defense At UFC 292 On August 19, Yan Xiaonan Snubbed
UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili (23-3) has the first defense of her second title reign written in the calendar.
“Magnum” returned to the throne last November with a clinical display to unseat Carla Esparza at UFC 281. She’s since awaited the first challenger to her latest stint atop the division, and that individual has now been revealed.
Following her recent knockout win over former divisional queen Jéssica Andrade, many expected Zhang’s compatriot Yan Xiaonan to be next in line for a championship opportunity.
But while UFC President Dana White was quick to reveal his desire to have the two Chinese fighters square off in their home country later this year, he confirmed Tuesday that Amanda Lemos (13-2-1) will be receiving the next shot.
White made the announcement while outlining a number of major bouts for the promotion’s summer schedule. Zhang vs. Lemos will serve as the co-main event for UFC 292, which is set for Boston on August 19 and will be headlined by Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley for the bantamweight belt.
Zhang Weili will defend her women's strawweight title against Amanda Lemos at UFC 292 in Boston, UFC announced Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/7cHHw894zB
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 16, 2023
While Lemos sits a spot below the #3-ranked Xiaonan in the strawweight pecking order, her most recent victory came over the last woman to hand “Fury” a defeat inside the Octagon.
In what was her second main event of the year, the Brazilian knocked out Marina Rodriguez last November at UFC Vegas 64. The result continued a stellar second half of 2022 for Lemos, who’d previously submitted Michelle Waterson-Gomez.
It remains to be seen if the UFC will look to have Zhang defend on home soil opposite Xiaonan should she get past Lemos this summer.
Read Also: Yan Xiaonan Reveals Possible Timeframe For ‘Historic’ Showdown With Zhang Weili In China