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This should in essence be an awesome fight, but as the first fight showed, it could end on a dime. Admittedly, I had predicted in the first fight that Zhang Weili was going to win. I thought that her pressure and volume were keys to taking the later rounds and ultimately the fight. Obviously that didn’t happen. Despite the defeat, Weili is still a Championship caliber fighter. She has excellent takedown defense and striking, landing 6.36 significant strikes per minute. With power to disrupt and excellent cardio, Weili is one of the most dangerous women in combat sports. However, Rose Namajunas happens to also be one of the most dangerous women in combat sports. With excellent technical striking and the ability to be a fast starter, Namajunas has often taken the early rounds or finished the fight. The latter has been the more likely result though, as Namajunas has won seven of her ten wins via stoppage.
As for a prediction, I have Namajunas winning. While I expect this fight to go longer than the first one, I do favor Namajunas to once again finish Weili. My concerns in the first fight were that Namajunas wanes the later the fight goes, and I still hold that to be true. However, the combination of Namajunas’ early storm, finishing abilities and perhaps Weili never truly being hit by a finisher like Thug Rose is a recipe for a repeat of the first fight. Another thing I’ll throw out there is, in the ten times in UFC history that the original title holder lost their belt and got an immediate rematch, only one time have they won. That one time happened back in 2004, at UFC 49, as Randy Couture reclaimed his belt against Vitor Belfort. In other words, history is on Namajunas’ side. So with all that said, I predict that Namajunas will defeat Weili via TKO.