UFC 268 goes down this weekend at the Madison Square Garden in New York. In the co-main event, strawweight champion Rose Namajunas defends her title against Zhang Weili.
Namajunas finished Zhang in the first round of their title fight at UFC 261 to become a two-time strawweight queen. Having made only one successful title defence in her first reign, Namajunas will be looking to have a dominant run this time around, but Zhang will be looking to spoil her plans.
Analysis And Prediction
Both Namajunas and Zhang are very well rounded fighters, who are excellent anywhere the fight goes. On the feet, Namajunas has excellent footwork and boxing, but she’s also very crafty on the mat as well. Zhang is a powerful striker, who loves to pressure her opponents. She also possesses great grappling skills, with vicious ground and pound.
Zhang has the edge as far as power, pressure, and cardio are concerned, while Namajunas’ precision, movement and unpredictability are going to be her key weapons come fight night.
While Namajunas has the edge from the technical standpoint, Zhang has the edge statistically as she lands well over 6 significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Namajunas lands a little over 4. Defensively, both fighters are fairly even. Namajunas absorbs 4 significant strikes per minute on average, while Zhang absorbs 4.5.
Namajunas is very crafty on the mat, but Zhang is excellent all around as well, and she has a perfect takedown defence. ‘Magnum’ has been training with Henry Cejudo and Eric Albarracin for this fight, so we should expect major improvements in her ground game.
All in all, it will be a close fight with Zhang taking a decision win home.
Prediction: Zhang Weili by decision
Rose Namajunas (+105)
Zhang Weili (-115)
Who do you think will win the strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili at UFC 268?