Member Since: 1/1/01
Zhang Weili defeated Jessica Andrade for the strawweight title at UFC on ESPN+ 15 on 8/31/2019, and immediately said she would rather superfight flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko than defend vs. #1 contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk. However, Weili defends vs. Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 on 3/7, and Shevchenko defends vs. Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247 on 2/8. And during an interview with Damon Martin for MMA Fighting, Shevchenko said Weili has more work still at 115.
"My thoughts on this, as you mentioned, inside 125 division, I agree to fight with anyone who goes all the way on the top, gets their position and ready for the fight, ready for the title," said Shevchenko. "I accept to take anyone. But you know, for example, in this situation with a different weight class it's not just like this."
"I think that the person who tries to get this fight has to show and prove that she's deserving this opportunity."
"A few months ago nobody knew the name of the Chinese girl Weili. I don't know what number she was but because of lucky circumstances she became champion but she still has to prove that she is in the right place and she's there because no one is better than her.
"Because my opinion, she still has Joanna, she's a very hard test for her. She has Rose [Namajunas] and she's also a very hard test for her and she has Tatiana Suarez. So before she proves that she's better than them, I think it's not right to jump over the stairs. It's not right."
"She has a lot of things to prove yet."