Zhang Weili measures out on Saturday since the primary Chinese fighter to compete to get a UFC name and with a single man to thank for the notable gain in the game: Ronda Rousey. “I only need to be like her,” clarified the 30-year-old Zhang. “She showed us what is possible in this game. She has the power and strength which we all wish we had.”
Zhang will on Saturday confront the Brazilian strawweight titleholder Jessica Andrade as a portion of this UFC’s Fight Night 157 event in the Universiade Sports Centre from the southern metropolis of Shenzhen.
Zhang trained in martial arts as a kid but was not quite sure in which her life was led — until the minute she watched Rousey turned into the UFC’s first women’s world champion by beating fellow American Liz Carmouche in bantamweight at 2013.
Zhang had resisted her parents’ proposal that she turned into a hairdresser and was dabbling in MMA while leaping between part-time work in the hospitality sector before she found that Rousey struggle. Ever since then, her entire life was MMA.
For her role, Rousey has taken to Instagram within the last week to announce she felt as a”proud mama” seeing Zhang — and women’s MMA — had increased.
Weili Zhang is a choice example of overcoming hardship — battling not only throughout the rankings but additionally to get noticed and stand out,” published Rousey.
Zhang said it was an honor to observe those words composed by her”idol and role model.”
- Girls headliners –
The Zhang-Andrade bout is the third time this season which female fighters have topped the card with an event staged by the planet’s largest mixed martial arts business, with yet another on the horizon before the end of 2019.
Parity between the genders in-game was a simmering problem for decades which was attracted to the boil in this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, and a very public effort directed by American captain Megan Rapinoe because she headed her country to success. The American group is still locked within an equal-pay lawsuit together with the regulating USA Football body.
While cover rates in MMA aren’t disclosed, the likes of”Battle of the Night” bonuses are equivalent across the board, and the game was quick to put female fighters front and center at promotional terms at the least.
And charge for this may be tracked back to Rousey.
The former Olympian established a marketing dream for the UFC, fast emerging on talk shows across the globe and moving to films, with cameo appearances in the likes of this billion-dollar Fast and Furious franchise.
“We are among the few sports in which there’s parity, where girls headline cards. It is hugely important to us that this occurs and it is what MMA fans need.
“MMA treats every athlete as a person. You come, and you play, then you get paid to the degree of your operation.”
-‘Chase their fantasies’ –
Zhang has experienced a quick rise to the standing of number six at the UFC’s strawweight branch as a result of a 3-0 run with all the organization, after being signed in the conclusion of 2017 in the Chinese national leagues.
Zhang is aware of the task ahead but stated she expects that — such as Rousey before her she expects she can reveal”what is possible.”
“I feel as I’ve been working towards this moment for decades now,” said Zhang. “If seeing me and what I do can inspire girls, and give them the capability to pursue their dreams, then that could be my important accomplishment, which could be super-positive.”