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AND NEW – Zhang Weili submits Carla Esparza to become two-time champion



Carla Esparza Zhang Weili UFC 281 Frontkick

Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili clashed at UFC 281. Photo Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA TODAY Sports and via Instagram (@carlaesparza1)

Two time strawweight champion Carla Esparza and former champion Zhang Weili just clashed in the co-main event of UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The first round was entertaining and competitive. Both fighters had success on the ground and on the feet, but Weili was by far the sharper striker.

Early in the second round, Weili was able to take Esparza’s back and force her to tap via a rear-naked-choke to become strawweight champion for the second time in her career.

Read more: Watch the 10 most vicious strawweight knockouts EVER!

Zhang Weili: “Today is like a dream come true”

In the post-fight interview, the new champion explained that she felt a massive support from the American crowd.

“Today is like a dream come true,” Weili said via translator. “I want to say thanks to all my supporters, family members and fans around the world.”

“You should never give up, do what you want to, and the victory will come back,” Weili said.

Read more: Jiří Procházka shuts down megafight – is this REALLY the reason?!

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