‘I Don’t Think He’s Really Eligible’- Zhang Weili Refutes Mike Tyson’s Recent Comments

Published 04/04/2021, 11:17 PM EDT
SHENZHEN, CHINA – AUGUST 31: Zhang Weili of China prepares to fight Jessica Andrade of Brazil in their UFC strawweight championship bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre on August 31, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)


UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili sat down exclusively with CGTN Sports Scene ahead of her title fight at UFC 261. Weili will take on Rose Namajunas in possibly the toughest test of her career thus far. The fight will probably be a technical war that will deliver on many different levels.

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‘Magnum’ is coming off a ‘Fight of the Year’ victory against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 back in March 2020. Despite her guts and glory performance in her very first title defense, Zhang Weili has many doubters. In fact, boxing icon Mike Tyson is one of those doubters who has come out and claimed Weili will be ‘destroyed’ in her bout against Namajunas.

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Zhang Weili responds to Mike Tyson’s prediction

The 21-1 champion out of China has provided an in-depth look at why ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson sided heavily with Rose Namajunas. According to her, it all boils down to differences with which westerners and easterners go about making predictions. What’s more, Zhang Weili also came out opined that Tyson wasn’t necessarily the best fit to be making MMA predictions given his boxing background.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 07: Zhang Weili of China prepares to fight Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland in their UFC strawweight championship fight during the UFC 248 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“That might be based on cultural differences between the East and the West. Easterners are relatively reserved, and normally leave wiggle room when making predictions. There’s no defiance for no reason in our style. But Westerners are relatively outgoing and sometimes tend to pass judgement on things that haven’t happened yet.”

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“I also don’t think he’s really eligible to assess MMA, as opposed to boxing in which he has great experience. I could take it into consideration if he was involved with MMA, but he hasn’t really taken it up. So maybe he’s just supporting the fighter from his country. His view hasn’t put any pressure on me or made me unhappy.”

SHENZHEN, CHINA – AUGUST 31: Zhang Weili of China celebrates after her knockout victory over Jessica Andrade of Brazil in their UFC strawweight championship bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre on August 31, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

Chiefly, it’s hard to deny that Zhang Weili isn’t a capable foil to the former 115-pound champion Rose Namajunas. ‘Thug’ Rose’s’ reputation precedes her due to the sheer brilliant performances she has turned in during her career. However, there’s no doubt that both women will be tested when they finally collide at UFC 261.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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