Zhang, who lost the title to Namajunas at UFC 261, will prepare for the rematch at Fight Ready in Scottsdale, Ariz., marking her first stateside training camp, Fight Ready coach Eric Albarracin confirmed with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck after an initial report from ESPN.com.
UFC 268 is expected to take place Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event’s main card will air live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Zhang, 32, is from Handan, Hebei, China, and has previously trained at Black Tiger Fight Club in Beijing. She will arrive later this month to Arizona. ESPN.com reported she will bring her usual team to Arizona, where Albarracin works alongside coaches Santino DeFranco and Eddie Cha.
Former champ Zhang delivered a “Fight of the Year” win over once-dominant champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk in her first title defense in March 2020. She captured the belt with a quick first-round stoppage of Jessica Andrade.
Namajunas’ title grab was similarly fast when she caught Zhang with a head kick, prompting referee intervention just 78 seconds into their first title fight in April. It was the second time she won the UFC strawweight title after knocking out Jedrzejczyk and then winning an immediate rematch before dropping the belt to Andrade.