UFC president Dana White had some high praise for the UFC women’s strawweight champion Weili Zhang following her win at UFC 248.
Zhang defended her title in a highly action packed 5-round fight against the former UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event of last weekend’s UFC 248 event.
White was very impressed by the performance and touted the star potential of the Chinese champion at the UFC 248 post-fight press conference. He believes that Zhang has the potential to achieve Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor level of stardom in her home country of China – a market the UFC have been working hard to get a foothold in.
Speaking with MMA Fighting following the UFC 248 event, White had the following to say about “massive star” Weili Zhang:
“We always knew she was special,” White said. “We knew she was special, and we started moving her the way you move somebody you think is special. … Tonight, she went in against the best ever from that division, the woman who built that division, defended that belt five times, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk came in ridiculous, incredible shape. The amount of experience she has over Weili Zhang is massive, and you saw how good she looked tonight.
“I only expect her to get better, look better. And I think she made a lot of fans tonight. She got a good pop from the crowd when she walked out, the fans were behind her, and she murdered it in China, which is more important to me than the U.S., you know? [It’s] great people like her in the U.S., I love it — I want people to like her everywhere, but China was a huge success. We will continue to move her around.”
White suggested that that the UFC have a specific way of promoting fighters with huge star potential. They have previously done it with fighters like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, turning them into huge, internationally recognised stars. Now, White says that the same type of promotion will apply to Zhang:
“We did it with Conor McGregor, we’ve done it with Ronda, we’ve done it with all the greats, and we’re gonna do it with her,” White said. “She’s gonna be a massive star. The fighting sport is so crazy you gotta keep winning. If you keep winning, you’re gonna be a star.”
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 10th March, 2020.