Zhang Weili throws shots at “nervous” and “afraid” Carla Esparza, plans to outwrestle the wrestler at UFC 281

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Zhang Weili returns to the cage at UFC 281 when she challenges Carla Esparza for the strawweight championship.

Zhang Weili looks to become a two-time UFC strawweight champ at UFC 281.


Weili (22-3-0) will attempt to become a two-time UFC strawweight champion at the Madison Square Garden on Saturday night when she challenges reigning titleholder, Carla Esparza.

During a recent chat with South China Morning Post, Weili said that she believes Esparza is “nervous” and “afraid” about this fight, and has accused her of only wanting to fight against “less qualified opponents”.

Anyone can see that she is nervous, and she only likes to compete with less qualified opponents. I think she must be a little afraid of losing.” she said

Esparza is known for her elite wrestling game, however, Weili is confident in her ability to outwrestle the wrestling specialist.

Yes, she’ll want to bring me to the ground. As a wrestler, she thinks being on the ground is her dominant position, but I want to bring her to the ground, too, because I’ve been practising that for a long time. To compete against a complete wrestler is a first for me so I want to take this opportunity as a test run. I don’t think bringing me to the ground will do her any good.” she explained.

The 33-year-old rebounded from a pair of losses to Rose Namajunas earlier this year with a sensational second-round knockout win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She now looks to regain the belt which she once captured before after knocking out Jessica Andrade back in 2019.

UFC 281 takes place this Saturday November 12, 2022, from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States.

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One thought on “Zhang Weili throws shots at “nervous” and “afraid” Carla Esparza, plans to outwrestle the wrestler at UFC 281

  1. While I like the idea of Weili testing her own grappling skills by challenging Carla’s wrestling skills, her smack talk accusing Carla being afraid of her is not a good look for Weili. I’ve always admired her in the past as she seemed to be humble and respectful of her opponents.

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