Zhang Weili wants to challenge flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, in a cross-divisional super fight. At UFC 281, "Magnum" successfully defended her strawweight championship via choke against Carla Esparza in the second round.
The perfect candidate to challenge Weili for the strawweight title would be veteran Brazilian Amanda Lemos, who is presently listed third on the strawweight rankings. To earn a champ-champ status, the Chinese star wishes for a super fight versus Shevchenko. She just disclosed the following to China Daily of Hong Kong:
"I think it would be a great fight. It's one I've considered before. She is a very versatile fighter with a complete package. I hope it can be arranged whenever UFC sees fit."
Weili hopes to face new rivals, but she also anticipates facing Rose Namajunas again after two losses to the previous champion. In April of last year, "Magnum" was defeated by Namajunas with a head-kick KO, and she later lost a replay by split decision. But the 33-year-old woman recovered with a spinning backfist KO victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, earning her a shot at the crown.
Even without the battle with Shevchenko, Weili still has a lot to prove in her class. Despite having two wins against the champion, Rose Namajunas is unlikely to be allowed to defend her championship right away.
Namajunas needs to prove herself after her dismal performance against Carla Esparza, where she lost the title earlier this year if Weili decides she wants a trilogy match versus "Thug".
Zhang Weili was best renowned for her deadly striking abilities. But in her historic win over Carla Esparza by submission, Weili displayed a new facet of her abilities. Despite the enormous progress, her game has made, "Magnum" wishes to keep growing. She wants to add the ground control of Khabib Nurmagomedov, the wrestling of Carla Esparza, and the distance management of Jedrzejczyk into her arsenal, taking inspiration from her contemporaries.
"For example, the ground control of Khabib [Nurmagomedov], the grappling of Carla [Esparza], and the striking range of Joanna [Jedrzejczyk]... I'd like to take them all if possible."