Watch Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili 2 full fight video highlights from their co-main event clash at UFC 268, courtesy of UFC and other outlets.
UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2 took place Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York. UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (11-4) took on former titleholder Zhang Weili (21-3) in a rematch in UFC 268’s co-main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Catch the video highlights below.
Magnum makes her way to challenge the throne— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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Thug Rose is in The Garden— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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Things are starting to pick up early— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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The challenger gets the early takedown ♀️— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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The end of this round— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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Putting a stamp on the end of the second.— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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Thug Rose with the big shots, but Weili EATS them— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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Saved by the bell— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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Final. 5️⃣. Minutes ⏰— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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CLUTCH takedown by @RoseNamajunas— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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What. A. Fight.— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
How did you score it?
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The Queen of MSG retains her SW crown— UFC (@ufc) November 7, 2021
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For more on Namajunas vs. Zhang 2, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Both women come out in orthodox and movement all around to start. Circling from both and a huge distance to start. Some leg kicks from Weili early but really, they are nowhere near each other for the first minute.
Namajunas has settled in as holding the center with Weili light on her feet on the outside. Namajunas is able to get Weili backed up and lands a good right hand that gets the former champion’s attention. Back to the movement.
Weili is clearly looking for leg kicks and she is landing them. The issue is that aside from that she is staying so far outside. She’s able to duck in for a body lock though and she finishes the takedown. Namajunas recomposes her guard as Weili tries to pass.
Namajunas is comfortable on her back and she’s looking to get her legs high but Weili is powering through this and she lands a pair of big punches from the top with Namajunas pressed against the cage. Namajunas creates a scramble and is back to her feet. Weili snaps her down again with a single but Namajunas pops right back up and lands a shot in the clinch. The tone has been set.
Namajunas back to pressure and Weili seems uncomfortable with Rose in charge. Maybe she’s seeing ghosts of the KO from last time but Namajunas looks far more comfortable. Namajunas being patient though, perhaps too patient. Weili stumbles at the end of the round and Namajunas lands a good shot off it before the horn.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Namajunas
Round 2: It is entirely possible that Zhang took that first round. It was close but Namajunas landed the more impactful blows.
the second round starts and Namajunas is already doing a better job of crowding Zhang. It’s clear Zhang wants to be a mile outside or in the clinch/on top. It will be up to Namajunas to not allow that.
Namajunas stepping in behind some good combos and lands a solid low kick. That could pay dividends to slow Zhang’s movement. Zhang sitting down on some power shots not, perhaps in an attempt to keep Namajunas off her but Namajunas seems comfortable with the power. Zhang is landing some great kicks though.
Namajunas is getting the boxing going well but Zhang is now getting more comfortable on the feet, as her leg kicks are taking effect. Namajunas steps in and gets cracked with a big left hand! Namajunas stumbles backwards! Zhang pursues but doesn’t rush and a kick from Namajunas is caught and Zhang on top now. Biggest moment of the fight by far.
From top position, Zhang is bringing her physicality to bear on Namajunas. Big shots from the top and Namajunas forces a scramble to get out from there. Back on the feet and Zhang lands another low kick before getting a clinch. She attempts som inside trips but Namajunas blocks and the Rose gets her own takedown!
Namajunas has Zhang against the fence and she’s trying to step over into mount but can’t quite manage it. Short time and Namajunas lands a good shot to end the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Zhang, 19-19 overall.
Round 3: Zhang looking a bit tired in her corner but she’s got to be feeling pretty good. She could easily be up 2-0 at this point. Namajunas has had success but Zhang has minimized much of it thus far.
Front kick from Namajunas leads off the action to start the third, possibly because Zhang isn’t moving as much as before. She’s more in front of Namajunas, which is what the champion obviously wants. Namajunas looks fresh as a daisy and Zhang’s punches look slightly more labored. She needs to go back to the leg kicks.
Namajunas is very tentative in there now though. Looks like she wants Zhang to come to her but Zhang is not obliging. Zhang is making some big movements though and missing by a mile, like a spinning backfist and some huge haymakers. Namajunas lands a crisp jab but doing so allows Zhang to land a low kick. That’s her moneymaker.
Namajunas steps in and Zhang lands a counter right that is good but Namajunas goes for a takedown that Zhang stuffs. Another exchange ensues and Namajunas drops Zhang! More stumble than big shot but Namajunas is in pursuit and now a clinch. Zhang turns the clinch and lands a big shoulder strike before the separate.
Big leg kick fro Zhang and Namajunas’ lead leg is starting to show damage. She doesn’t care though and lands a good counter combo to Zhang. The two exchange big left hooks and Namajunas may be hurt! She’s covering it up well if she is hurt though and Zhang honestly may have been stunned too as she doesn’t step in. Instead, Zhang shoots a double and gets it. Namajunas turtles and Zhang grabs the back!A scramble ensues and Zhang comes out on top, finishing in mount! She lands a few shots from there before the horn sounds.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Zhang, 29-28 Zhang overall.
Round 4: Thus far the story of this fight has been the wrestling and leg kicks of Zhang. Namajunas is the better boxer, and the more dangerous striker but Zhang has studied well and she’s not letting Namajunas get into a great rhythm. Super close bout though.
Namajunas stalking forward more now, seems to be getting angry. She’s winging shots in there but Zhang is firing back and grabs a takedown. Namajunas kicks her way up instantly though and this is becoming a brawl.
Zhang lands another low kick and then shoots a takedown. Namajunas tries to shake her but Zhang grabs the back and drags Namajunas down. Namajunas is in turtle with Zhang draped overtop and looking to set hooks. She manages it and now Zhang is in the backpack. Namajunas looking to turn and after some effort, she pulls it off. Namajunas is now on top in Zhang’s guard.
Namajunas steps over to half guard and Zhang creates a scramble. Good little transition there but Namajunas is able to ride through, Zhang gets guard back though. Pace slowing from this position with Namajunas chipping away with body shots and Zhang perhaps taking some time off from the bottom.
Namajunas tries to posture and pass. Can’t clear the legs though and, it should be said, Zhang is minimizing the damage from bottom. No offense, but she’s staying very safe and it’s not for lack of Namajunas trying.
Short time in the round and Zhang not even trying to stand. Round ends in this position.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Namajunas, 38-38 overall.
Round 5: Scores could be all over the place for this one. Each round has been close. Zhang, though, appears to be slowing. Does she have five more minutes in her? Namajunas’ corner is entirely emotional support and motivation for the round prep.
Namajunas forgot her mouthpiece to start the round so there was a weird stop in the restart but we’re back at it and Zhang is throwing big shots. Namajunas firing right back. Only for a moment though, as both women are patient.
1 minute in and Namajunas leads with a big combo and uses it to drive in on a double leg and get a clean takedown. Namajunas is on top in top half and she lands a pair of huge right hands before Zhang can reclaim guard. Zhang tries to kick her off but can’t and she needs to stand up or this fight is a wrap.
Zhang cannot though. Namajunas sstaying sticky on top and passes to half guard, where she lands some shots. Barring a miracle, this one is over. Zhang tries to cramble but Namajunas is equal on top and lands another big shot. Zhang reclaims guard but she just doesn’t have the stand-up skills and Namajunas is content to ride this one out.
One minute left and this is over. Zhang doesn’t have the energy to stand. Namajunas stays heavy with pressure. Zhang is staying safe but it won’t matter. Namajunas stands but then lands a sharp left hand re-entering the guard and that’s all folks. Namajunas rides it out to the final bell and should get her hand raised.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Namajunas, 48-47 Namajunas overall.
Official Decision: Rose Namajunas defeats Zhang Weili by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) to retain her UFC strawweight title.