Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again yesterday (Sat. Aug., 31, 2019) as UFC Fight Night 157 went down from inside Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen, China, which saw Weili Zhang stun the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by knocking out the now-former women’s Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, in under a minute (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Li Jingliang upset Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos by knocking him out in round three.
Winner: Weilie Zhang
Who She Should Fight Next: Tatiana Suarez
Tatiana would have been my vote to get first dibs against Jessica Andrade, but now that Zhang has taken care of business by ending “Bate Estaca’s” reign in under a minute, “Magnum’s” first title defense should come against “The Female Khabib.”
Tatiana is 8-0, with five of those coming inside the Octagon. Thee is a big fight between former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk amd Michelle Waterson coming up soon, but Suarez still gets the nod over the winner of that fight. Tatiana’s aggressiveness coupled with her wrestling could give Zhang some fits, and it would be an interesting clash of styles to see who reigns supreme at 115 pounds.
Winner: Li Jingliang
Who He Should Face Next: Winner of Belal Muhammad and Takashi Sato
Li ended Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos’ seven-fight win streak after knocking him out in round number three. In doing so, he picked up his third straight win, bring his UFC record to 7-1 in his last eight bouts. Muhammad and Sato are set to throw down at UFC 242 this weekend (Sat., Sept. 7, 2019) so the winner of that matchup seems like a good challenge for Jinliang. All three men are looking to up their respective stock, so they are bound to fight one another in the future.
Winner: Kai Kara-France
Who He Should Fight Next: Ryan Benoit
France picked up his eighth straight win, third inside the Octagon, by edging out a very tough Mark De La Rosa. While Kai can expect a jump up the rankings, he will still likely be behind Ryan. That said, a matchup between the two talented 125 pounders will let us know who is ready to make the big jump up and possibly get into the championship mix. After all, the Flyweight division is still struggling — just look at the rankings and ask Chael Sonnen — so it shouldn’t take much to squeeze in.
Winner: Song Kenan
Who He Should Face Next: Bryan Barberana
Song got back on the winning track after defeating Derrick Krantz via unanimous decision. Song has a long way to go before he can infiltrate the top 15, especially since he fights at 170 pounds, one of the most talent-heavy divisions in UFC. Still, it’s about time Kenan gets a known name, and Barberena fits the bill. “Bam Bam” started off hot in his UFC career, but has fizzled as of late, losing his last two and three of four overall. Bryan still carries a bit of weight due to his exciting style of fighting, so he can draw some eyes, which will be good for Song.
Winner: Mizuki Inoue
Who She Should Face Next: Ashley Yoder
Mizuki made good in her UFC debut by narrowly edging out Yanan Wu. Mizuke is now 6-1 in her last seven fights, which means she’s proven that she doesn’t have to be given a slow road inside the Octagon. That said, she also can’t be taking on the cream of the crop just yet. That’s why Yoder seems like a good fit. She is on a two-fight win streak which followed after dropping three straight. A win for Inoue will pout everyone on notice in the women’s Flyweight division. For Yoder, picking up consecutive win number three against Mizuki will be a good notch on her belt, and set her up for bigger fights down the road.
For complete UFC ‘Shenzhen’ results and coverage click here.