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Weili
Zhang
will finally return home to China following her memorable
strawweight championship victory over Joanna
Jedrzejczyk
on March 7.

The UFC champion, along with two teammates, was expected to fly to
China from Las Vegas on Sunday, according to the fighter’s
management. ESPN
was first to report news of Zhang’s departure. Zhang stayed in the
United States for an extended period to avoid the risks associated
with travel as the coronavirus pandemic took hold across the globe.
Zhang had been in Las Vegas since Feb. 21.

During her camp for UFC 248, Zhang was forced to leave China as the
COVID-19 outbreak worsened in her home country, which was the
original epicenter of the disease. Zhang was in both Abu Dhabi and
Thailand before eventually arriving in the United States.



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Zhang successfully made her first title defense in the UFC 248
co-main event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where she took a
split decision over Jedrzejczyk in an instant “Fight of the Year”
contender. The 30-year-old Black Tiger Fight Club representative
has won 21 consecutive professional bouts, a streak that includes
five triumphs in the UFC. She claimed the strawweight throne with a
42-second stoppage of Jessica
Andrade
at UFC Fight Night 157 on Aug. 31.

“There’s a certain pattern when you’re building someone and you’re
trying to build them into a star,” UFC president Dana White

said of Zhang
after UFC 248. “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.

“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.”

The UFC has postponed all events through April due to the
coronavirus pandemic but has targeted May 9 for its next event.

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possible during this urgent time. Visit the Centers for Disease
Control at CDC.gov or
the World Health Organization at Who.int for the latest information on the coronavirus
and learn what you can do to stop the spread.

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