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Zhang Weili Dominates Amanda Lemos In UFC 292 Co-Main Event


At UFC 292, the Chinese strawweight champion Zhang Weili delivered a performance that was almost faultless, even by the impossible standards she has come to be held to.

On Saturday, Zhang (24-3) thoroughly outclassed Amanda Lemos (13-3-1)—a first-time championship challenger—to win a unanimous decision. The judges rated the co-main event of UFC 292 at Boston’s TD Garden, the 115-pound title battle, 50-43, 50-44, and 49-45.

With her fourth strawweight title victory, Zhang is now only two victories behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk for all-time.

“My name is Zhang Weili, I am from China, do you remember me?” Zhang said. “I am training every day. Hard training, easy fight.”

With 296 total strikes to Lemos’s 29 during the battle, Zhang had the upper hand for the majority of the time. The main cause of the discrepancy was Zhang’s grappling; in all five rounds, she brought Lemos to the ground and promptly beat him up. Lemos, a Brazilian, showed a lot of courage by trying to stand up again despite being clearly outmatched in the wrestling department.

Lemos did manage to get in a few stinging right hands as a reminder of her potency, but Zhang handled the blows effectively and kept up the pressure. Lemos also successfully locked a rare d’Arce choke from the bottom position, but Zhang never seemed to be forced to submit.

Zhang demonstrated some punching power in the fifth round, knocking Lemos to the ground with a vicious right hand that almost served as the performance’s exclamation point. Lemos eventually survived the shot, but Zhang still assumed a modified crucifix position and continued to apply pressure before Lemos managed to rise to her feet.

“I’m not surprised,” said Zhang, who trains under Beijing Black Tiger and Las Vegas coach John Wood. “I have a great team. All of the coaches give me all the technique to make the fight happen like this.”

Prior to Saturday, Zhang was already the top-ranked female fighter in the world, pound for pound, according to ESPN. She is currently 8-2 overall in the UFC, with her two losses coming to Rose Namajunas, the former strawweight champion. There is always a chance that the two may square off in a third fight, even if Namajunas’ next matchup is set for a higher weight class the following month.

Lemos drops to 7-3 overall in the UFC despite having five finishes, which ties him for the most in strawweight history.

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