“The boos were really loud, it was my first time experiencing the situation,” Zhang Weili discloses fans distracted her at UFC 261

The former UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili disclosed that the fans' behavior at UFC 261 affected her adversely in the fight against Rose Namajunas.

Zhang Weili
Zhang Weili

In the co-main event of UFC 261, former UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili entered the Octagon to face Rose Namajunas. The fans expected this fight to be a five-round brawl but it ended being completely opposite.

Namajunas knocked out Zhang Weili in the very first round of the fight and become the new women’s strawweight champion. This was Zhang Weili’s first loss after winning 21 consecutive fights as a pro fighter.

Now after recovering from the flood of emotions and shaving her head, Weili appeared on a live interview to discuss her loss. Zhang Weili says, “Regarding the stoppage, when the referee pulled me away, I really couldn’t accept the fact,”


“I was not reconciled at all. I worked hard for a long time, and I trained very hard every day. And I brought a big team of mine to America, yet the match ended this early. Deep inside, I couldn’t accept this fact.” {H/T MMA Mania}

She continued, “It’s because I put in so much effort to prepare for this fight, and it was very tough for me every day. But because of one misjudgment that I made, I thought she was doing a low-kick, and I had a defense for the low kick, but she made a high-kick instead. And it was very sudden, very quick.”

“And it’s not like we went for three rounds and she overpowered me, or even after one round if she overpowered me and I lost, then I would admit that my skills weren’t as good. But this one is really.. you know. I didn’t have a chance to show what I’ve got. So I felt wrong.” {H/T MMA Mania}

Zhang Weili and her coach reveal they were surprised by the crowd behavior

Rose Namajunas Zhang Weili
Rose Namajunas vs Zhang Weili

UFC 261 was the first live event for the promotion in which they allowed a full crowd since the coronavirus pandemic hit. The event took place in Florida and all the fans were supporting ‘Thug Rose’ and for doing this they didn’t even hesitate to boo Zhang Weili.

Weili says, “Last fight with Joanna, even though she trained in America, she isn’t American, so we were quite equal, and neither of us got any boos. But this time, because Rose is from America, and Florida is a bit like that..”

“So when I showed up in the event… wow the boos were really loud. It was my first time experiencing the situation. And I didn’t expect it to be so serious.” {H/T MMA Mania}

She continued, “Even if she had 70 percent of the audience on her side, and just a small amount on my side, it wouldn’t have been that loud, when my music started playing even before I showed up, it was already loud. And so I couldn’t even hear what the referee or coach said.”

Zhang Weili’s coach Xuejen Cai, also shared his views in the interview. He says, “I think Weili performed quite well in the beginning, there was a huge psychological disadvantage fighting amongst a hostile crowd, so Weili wanted to relax more and be less nervous. But when she tried, she didn’t relax.”

“Instead, she lost focus. So at that moment, she was actually not fully there. So I would say Weili wasn’t focused enough. We wanted her to be in her vacuum of focus from the moment of her entrance. But we let the boos overwhelm us.” {H/T MMA Mania}

In the end, Weili just accepted her loss and said they are gunning for the rematch now. She concluded, “I want to emphasize that we are not making any excuses [regarding the loss], We accept the result. I am talking about the boos, the location, and the uncertainty of who I’ll face, not because I am making excuses for my loss.”

“We are just discussing the problems encountered. So if people think I am making excuses, that’s not the case. We are also waiting for the second fight, Depends on the schedule. Ideally, we would like it to be held in Abu Dhabi.”

“This location is neutral to both parties. But, now Rose is the champion, so it might not be up to us. The table has been turned.” {H/T MMA Mania}

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