UFC Beijing: Ultimate media day for Fight Night 141
UFC held the ultimate media day for Fight Night 141 at Wanda Realm Hotel in Beijing on Thursday afternoon. Six fighters – Song Yadong, Zhang Weili, Francis Ngannou, Li Jingliang, Alistair Overeem and Curtis Blaydes - trained in public and responded to questions from the media about the event which will take place at the Cadillac Arena on Saturday.
20-year-old bantamweight fighter Song Yadong has got two consecutive victories in the octagon since joining the UFC last year at Fight Night Shanghai as a substitute and defeated Bharat Khandare with a front choke at the end of first round. After a year, he's already in a main card bout and is UFC president Dana White's pick for Chinese fighter with the most potential.
At the conference, Song said, “I treat Dana's appreciation as encouragement, and I plan to go into the top 15 next year.”
China's most experienced UFC fighter Li Jingliang still showed confidence when he was asked how he felt about his new rival. Li said he didn't care that much and would fight whoever UFC matched for him.
Zhang Weili is one of three female Chinese fighters at the event, and her advantage is in her striking. This time, she said, ”I will fight in both standing position and on the ground, it all depends on my rival's strategy, and I would finish the bout before the end.”
Blaydes and Ngannou, two top five ranked heavyweights, will meet each other this Saturday for the second time in as many years. In their first encounter - also Blaydes' debut in UFC - the Cameroonian knocked out the newcomer in Round 2, but since then, Blaydes has gone on to be undefeated.
Although Ngannou is considered the underdog for the bout due to coming into the fight on a streak of two consecutive losses, the gifted man expressed his ambitions for Saturday's main card and would also like to aim for the championship.
Another heavyweight veteran, 38-year-old Overeem, told reporters that he doesn't think about his future too much, as he concentrates on the match in front of him and gives it his all.
During the conference, UFC vice-president of Asia-Pacific Kevin Chang also revealed that UFC will build the largest MMA training facility in Shanghai.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou (Heavyweight)
Alistair Overeem vs. Sergei Pavlovich (Heavyweight)
Song Yadong vs. Vince Morales (Bantamweight)
Li Jingliang vs. David Zawada (Welterweight)
Song Kenan vs. Alex Morono (Welterweight)
Wu Yanan vs. Lauren Mueller (Women's flyweight)
Hu Yaozhong vs. Rashad Coulter (Heavyweight)
Zhang Weili vs. Jessica Aguilar (Women's strawweight)