Chael Sonnen is backing women’s strawweight contender Weili Zhang to defeat divisional champion Jessica Andrade in her home-country of China this weekend.
And to be honest, had these comments come directly after the Brazilian’s incredible one-punch KO of Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 228, they would have likely bordered on sensationalism.
But given the fact that the former 115lbs queen Rose Namajunas well and truly exposed Andrade before being KO’d in one of the oddest fight-ending sequences we have ever seen, a lot of people’s faith in Bate Estaca has been shaken.
Also, the very promising contender Weili Zhang has been incredibly impressive during both her UFC run and her 19-1 career to date – so much so that we pegged her as one of the top seven prospects in the sport late last year.
Speaking during a recent episode of ESPN‘s Ariel & The Bad Guy, Sonnen backed the challenger to become the UFC’s first-ever Chinese champion.
“You’re saying it as though she’s the underdog, as though she has been granted an opportunity – or at least that’s what I feel like your tone is talking. Ariel, if I’m to be honest with you, I would be stunned if we didn’t have a new champion. 19-1, one of the most devastating ground-and-pounds in the sport.
“She doesn’t appear to get tired, she’s ruthless. Don’t be fooled by that by that pretty face and that nice smile, when they say ‘go’, she does. She is a cage fighter. I’d be surprised if we didn’t have a new champion by this time next week.