“I’m really happy those fighters are on the same card with me. It shows how China’s MMA has really developed a lot. I hope in the future there will be more young generations who come to fight in the UFC and show how great Chinese athletes are.”

Objectively, Zhang has been great over the course of her career to date. Her only loss was her professional debut in 2013, followed by 21 consecutive wins. She captured strawweight gold just four fights into her UFC career with a first-round TKO of Jessica Andrade.

WELCOME TO THE UFC: Rongzhu | Aoriqileng | Liang Na

“Speed, strength, the way I use my body…I’ve improved all of those abilities,” she explains of her development. “Sometimes when I would finish training, I would think that I hadn’t made any progress. But once I looked back at the training footage from years ago, I saw that I had improved a lot. I just keep the focus on myself, keep improving, keep training hard. This time you guys will definitely see a different version.”