Original title: Zhang Weili: Extreme struggle to meet transformation
After knocking down her opponent with a “dragon swinging tail” whip, the excited Zhang Weili ran freely in the octagonal cage. Mixed with the audience’s exclamations and cheers, it was Zhang Weili’s screams and roars…
This is what happened during the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) match held on June 12, Beijing time. Chinese star Zhang Weili faced Polish veteran Joanna. In the end, Zhang Weili successfully KO (knocked down) her opponent and won the qualification to challenge the current gold belt owner. It is worth mentioning that this is the 10th time in UFC history that a fighter has used the technical action of whip fist to knock down an opponent, and it is also the first time that a female boxer has won a KO opponent with this technical action.
“I want to tell everyone that I’m back.” In the interview after the game, Zhang Weili always emphasized this sentence.
As China‘s first UFC world champion, Zhang Weili’s road to success can be described as difficult. She was born into a coal miner’s family in Handan, Hebei, and her family was not wealthy. Entering a martial arts school to practice Sanda became a part of reducing the pressure of life. After retiring due to injury, she worked as a kindergarten teacher, hotel receptionist, gym salesman…
In 2013, Zhang Weili officially turned to mixed martial arts training. Her efforts in the octagonal cage are well known to more people. In Shenzhen in 2019, facing Brazilian star Andrade, Zhang Weili knocked down her opponent in just 42 seconds to win the gold belt. Zhang Weili, the first UFC world champion in China and even in Asia, raised the gold belt above her head in the spotlight.
In March 2020, facing the challenge of Polish player Joanna, Zhang Weili fought 5 rounds, and finally won the points and successfully defended the gold belt. The fight was officially voted the best fight of 2020 by the UFC.
Standing on the “top”, Zhang Weili enjoys admiration and respect from all directions, but she also has to face new challenges that come one after another.
78 seconds, this is Zhang Weili’s first match time against American strongman Ross Namajunas in April 2021. In a hasty move, Zhang Weili fell heavily to the ground… After losing to her opponent again in the second round in November 2021, Zhang Weili fell into a rock bottom.
However, it was this kind of defeat that made Zhang Weili know what true “comfort” is. “I used to want to win and be afraid to lose, but now I think mixed martial arts is a lifetime thing.” Zhang Weili, who cut her hair short, set off towards the “top of the mountain” again as a challenger.
In order to prepare for this match with Joanna, Zhang Weili went to Thailand early for training, and continued to improve her leg skills in addition to practicing boxing. While improving herself technically and tactically, she also transformed herself psychologically, and finally witnessed the best results.
On October 20 this year, Zhang Weili will compete with the current UFC strawweight champion-Carla Esparza of the United States in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. At that time, she will once again attack the gold belt.
A heart that wants to win and work hard for it can take Zhang Weili across thousands of barriers. “Only with extreme hard work can you be worthy of the extreme scenery”, Zhang Weili once encouraged herself on social media.
Zhang Weili said, Zhang Weili did.