The UFC is targeting a strawweight title fight in April.
MMA Fighting has confirmed with sources close to the situation that a 115-pound championship matchup between Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas is in the works for UFC 261. The event is scheduled to take place April 24 in a venue and location yet to be announced. ESPN was first to report the targeted booking.
Per sources, contracts have yet to be signed, but all parties involved are on the same page in regards to the date.
Zhang captured the title on her 20th consecutive victory when she knocked out Jessica Andrade in the first round in August 2019. “Magnum” went on to successfully defend her championship in one of the greatest fights in UFC history, earning a split decision over former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 this past March.
Namajunas will be looking to become UFC champ for the second time in her career. “Thug” became the champion with an opening round stoppage of Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217. After defeating Jedrzejczyk a second time at UFC 223 five months later, Namajunas lost the title to Andrade at UFC 237 in May 2019. After over a year away, the 28-year-old returned and avenged her previous loss with a Fight of the Night earning win over Andrade at UFC 251 in July.
Coincidentally enough, Andrade will compete at UFC 261 as she will challenge Valentina Shevchenko for the women’s flyweight title.