Chinese female fighter makes UFC history

2019-09-26 21:00 716

BEIJING, Sept. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by on China's first female UFC champion Zhang Weili:

Chinese female fighter makes UFC history

In China's animated blockbuster hit of the summer, "Ne Zha," there is a line drawn from Taoist classics: "I'm the master of my own fate!" Not long ago, a girl from north China's Hebei province exemplified this inspiring spirit with her sweat and fists.

Recently, 29-year-old Zhang Weili took only 42 seconds to knock out Brazil's Jessica Andrade, former women's strawweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), to become the new UFC champion in the division. Zhang was also the first-ever Chinese champion in UFC history, which is a bit like a Chinese basketball player winning the NBA MVP award.

However, such a monumental fighter was forced to suspend her career twice due to injuries, and twice she returned to the ring. She never forgot her mixed martial arts (MMA) dream even when she had to work as a cashier or salesperson to support herself. "My name is Zhang Weili. I'm from China. Remember me!" This was what Zhang said after she claimed the UFC championship, wrapped in the Chinese national flag. Indeed, she mastered her own fate, and her story also showcased China's progress in the sports field.

In the 1970s, Bruce Lee showed the world combat should not be confined to any single fighting style. He was hence respected as the forerunner of MMA. However, in the following decades, Chinese MMA participants never made any waves in this particular world. In top UFC championships, there was no female fighter from China, or even Asia as a whole. In the traditional Chinese mindset, fists and power belong to men, while women should stay at home to look after their menfolk and children. However, this is obviously not the case for Zhang. She showed she feared nothing, and remained true to her original aspiration, being the best representative of modern Chinese women.

Before Zhang produced her phenomenal performance in the UFC ring, China's Liu Xiang also stunned the world on the athletics track, as Sun Yang in the swimming pool. Competitive sports have developed robustly in China, and headway has been made beyond the conventional major events. For example, China has set up a skeleton national team to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Chinese equestrian team has gained qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. These niche sports have been able to make progress with official support, and have become a part of people's everyday life. Skiing and surfing are no longer rare activities. An increasing number of Chinese children are learning sports like fencing and ice hockey. The booming development of sports have raised people's awareness of keeping fit. It's normal today to see young Chinese people work up a sweat in a gym, and the elder people exercise every day to keep healthy.

"I'm the master of my own fate." This inspiring line is not only suitable for Zhang and her stunning performance in the UFC arena, but also for China and its booming sports development. With the unyielding spirit of the Chinese people, and with the full support of the authorities, it's certain that more historic records will be made, and prejudice against the nation will be changed.

China Mosaic

Chinese female fighter makes UFC history

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