Forty-two seconds is all Weili Zhang needed. To prove the doubters wrong about her title opportunity and main event billing. To extend her UFC record to 4-0 and her winning streak to a mind-boggling 20. To leave Jessica Andrade, the woman who a few months ago captured the strawweight title with a soul-snatching body slam, as another face-down former champion.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Shenzhen event didn’t feel like a big card during fight week. There was a conspicuous lack of star power beneath the championship anchor, and outside a flyweight bout between Kai Kara-France and Mark De La Rosa, the bill was built for an exclusively local audience. Given the fight was broadcast in the early hours of Saturday morning in North America, a huge portion of the MMA fanbase elected to miss the event entirely, whilst the usual throng of reporters who follow the UFC around the globe gave themselves the week off.
But when Zhang chased Andrade down with a flurry of knees and punches, closing the show with 24 minutes and 18 seconds still left on the clock, she authored what felt like a landmark moment.
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