Chinese standout Zhang Weili made a tremendous Octagon debut on 4 August at UFC 227 in Los Angeles. While Danielle Taylor made it a fight, Zhang’s significant striking pushed her to the unanimous decision victory.
Taylor proved her mettle when she came out eager to engage, but Zhang began landing hard shots right away, including three or four hard inside leg kicks. Taylor tried a clinch, and hip throw, but there was no way Zhang would have any of it. Taylor skirted away and Zhang stalked her, eventually getting a trip down where she landed in half guard. Zhang was good with some short elbows, but when Taylor dropped back for a heel hook, Zhang bailed out and realised she shouldn’t engage on the ground.
Zhang stood out and resumed her kicking, and Taylor began to find a home for her counters as Zhang came in. Taylor grabbed a kick and landed hard on Zhang, wobbling her at the bell.
In the second round, Zhang turned on the heat, walking Taylor down. She ate a good a counter right hand and lost her mojo for a bit, but a stumble woke her up and she threw caution to the wind, taking more damage in the process.
Zhang recovered with a strong combo, strikes, low kicks, and her fantastic side kick. Taylor clipped her on the chin and Zhang nodded happily, recognising it. Taylor was reading her and avoiding the majority of the hard shots, and began to counter big at the end of the round.
In the final round, Zhang realized that Taylor could counter so she started picking her shots better. She landed some powerful leg kicks to take back the tide, and an overhand left for an exclamation point. It fired up Taylor, and she tried to launch a comeback, but ended up receiving a 1-2-3 from Zhang and a side kick. At a minute left, but women made it fun and stood in the pocket, throwing shots at each other.
Zhang Weili had landed double the punches and almost 10 times the kicks of Danielle Taylor to make her successful UFC debut.
Zhang Weili def Danielle Taylor by unanimous decision.