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has thus far held her ground as undisputed
Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s strawweight titleholder,
even as the wolves continue to surround her.
“Magnum” will defend her 115-pound crown against former champion
Namajunas in the UFC
261 co-headliner on Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
in Jacksonville, Florida. Zhang has rattled off 21 consecutive
victories since she lost her professional debut in 2013. The Black
Tiger Fight Club ace last appeared at UFC 248 in March 2020, when
she outlasted Joanna
Jedrzejczyk to a five-round split decision in an epic war of
wills. Namajunas, meanwhile, has won four of her past five bouts.
She last competed at UFC 251, where she laid claim to a split
verdict over Jessica
Andrade in their July 11 rematch.
As Zhang and Namajunas finalize plans for their forthcoming
confrontation, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied
them to this point:
31: Years of age for Zhang, who was born on Aug.
13, 1989 in Handan, China—nearly 6,500 miles from Ultimate Fighting
Championship headquarters in Las Vegas.
6.38: Strikes landed per minute by Zhang since she
joined the UFC roster in 2018, placing her fourth on the
promotion’s all-time list in the category at 115 pounds. Only
Andrade (6.88), Jedrzejczyk (6.62) and Xiaonan Yan
(6.38) have connected at a higher rate.
10: Zhang victories by knockout or technical
knockout, accounting for 48% of her career total (21). Her list of
victims includes Andrade, Marilia
Benitez and Emi Fujino.
Zhang owns seven other wins by submission and four more by
3: Sub-minute stoppage victories on the Zhang
resume. She put away Andrade with knees and punches in 42 seconds
at UFC Fight Night 157 on Aug. 31, 2019, submitted Nayara
Hemily Cascardo with a guillotine choke in 41 seconds at Kunlun
Fight 9 on Feb. 25, 2017 and dismissed Mei Huang with a rear-naked
choke in 40 seconds under the Chines Kung Fu Championships banner
on Oct. 27, 2014.
5: Takedowns completed by Zhang in her five UFC
appearances. Other than Andrade, she has taken down every woman she
has faced: Jedrzejczyk, Tecia
Torres (twice), Jessica
Aguilar and Danielle
Taylor. Meanwhile, Zhang has denied all three takedown attempts
levied against her.
28: Years of age for Namajunas, who was born to
Lithuanian parents in Milwaukee on June 29, 1992. “Batman Returns,”
“Unlawful Entry,” “Sister Act,” “Housesitter” and “Patriot Games”
were the Top 5 movies at the domestic box office at the time.
5: Namajunas victories by submission, accounting
for 56% of her career total (nine). Her methods of choice: four
rear-naked chokes and one flying armbar. Namajunas owns one other
win by knockout or technical knockout and four more by
3: Knockdowns landed by Namajunas as a UFC
strawweight, tying her with Angela Hill
Lemos for most on the promotion’s all-time list at 115
12: Seconds needed for Namajunas to submit
Lowe with a flying armbar at Invicta Fighting Championships 5
on April 5, 2013. Having occurred in her second professional
assignment, it remains her fastest finish to date and one of only
three first-round stoppage victories on her resume.
554: Days spent by Namajunas as undisputed UFC
women’s strawweight champion. She lorded over the 115-pound weight
class from Nov. 4, 2017 to May 11, 2019.