China’s first UFC champion Zhang Weili said ongoing visa issues have prevented her from entering the US, but help is on its way thanks to a US presidential candidate.
Zhang (20-1) made history when she won the UFC’s women’s strawweight title with a stunning, first-round TKO of Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzhen on 31 August.
“My American visa was refused again,” she said in an Instagram post.
“I don’t know why. Is it the wrong type of visa I should apply for? Or because I’m a single woman? Or is the visa officer in a bad mood at work today?”
Zhang said she was hoping to make a trip Stateside to meet her new friends and fans in America.
Zhang’s manager Brian Butler from SuckerPunch Entertainment took to Instagram to say Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard had reached out to help.
In a post Butler said Gabbard offered to sort out the visa situation with the following message.
“We need more ties and partnerships between our two countries in spit of the differences. MMA is an amazing way to do that,” Gabbard wrote.
This is not the first time Zhang has had issues with a US visa. Leading up to her fight with with Tecia Torres in Las Vegas in March, her corner team were also denied visas.
“I hope this can be resolved so I can visit and get to meet some of my new friends and fans in America. We are still working on it and hope to have good news in time for me to make the trip on Oct 15th.”