On April 24, 2021, Zhang Weili and Carla Esparza faced off in a highly anticipated UFC strawweight bout at UFC 261. This was a pivotal matchup for both fighters, as Zhang looked to defend her title and Esparza aimed to establish herself as a top contender. The fight did not disappoint, as the two women engaged in a back-and-forth battle that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The first round saw both fighters feeling each other out, with neither able to gain a significant advantage. Zhang landed a few powerful strikes, while Esparza used her wrestling skills to control the octagon. In the second round, Zhang began to find her rhythm, unleashing a flurry of punches and kicks that put Esparza on the defensive. Esparza tried to counter with takedowns, but Zhang’s defense proved too strong.
The third round saw Zhang really start to take control of the fight, landing a series of brutal strikes that left Esparza visibly hurt. Esparza tried to recover and mount a comeback, but Zhang’s relentless pressure kept her on the defensive. In the fourth round, Zhang continued to dominate, landing more powerful strikes and even taking Esparza down to the mat.
By the fifth and final round, it was clear that Zhang had the fight in the bag. Esparza was visibly fatigued and unable to mount any significant offense, while Zhang continued to pile on the strikes. In the end, the judges awarded Zhang the unanimous decision victory, with scores of 50-45, 50-45, and 50-45.
The fight was a showcase of Zhang’s incredible striking skills, as well as her ability to defend against takedowns and control the pace of the fight. Esparza showed heart and determination but was ultimately outmatched by the dominant champion. The win solidified Zhang’s position as one of the best fighters in the strawweight division and set the stage for what promises to be an exciting future for the Chinese superstar.
For Esparza, the loss was a setback, but she showed that she still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. With her wrestling skills and determination, she remains a top contender in the division and a formidable opponent for anyone who steps into the octagon with her.
Overall, the Zhang Weili vs. Carla Esparza fight was a thrilling display of skill and determination from both fighters. Zhang’s dominant performance showed why she is the reigning champion, while Esparza’s heart and grit made her a worthy challenger. UFC fans were treated to a memorable bout that will surely be remembered for years to come.