The UFC strawweight title is on the line as Jessica Andrade attempts to defend her title for the first time since dethroning Rose Namajunas at UFC 237 via a vicious bodyslam this past May.
Meanwhile, her opponent Weili Zhang enters the octagon with an entire country in her corner, and the pressure that comes with that as she tries to become not just a champion, but the first Chinese born athlete to become a UFC champion.
Some feel that Zhang may be getting her title shot too soon, I disagree. Zhang who is 19-1 is riding a 19 fight winning streak since losing her first professional fight including wins against Tecia Torres and Jessica Aguilar.
Zhang is perfectly capable of winning this fight, she possesses all the tools that can secure a victory. The biggest hurdle she has in front of her for this fight is the physical strength of Andrade who has competed at 125 and 135 during her career, and is undoubtedly the strongest strawweight in the division.
UFC on ESPN+ 15 will start the show at 3:00 a.m Eastern time LIVE on ESPN from Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China, with the main card moving to ESPN+ at 6:00 a.m.
Cage Side with Christopher James presents the UFC on ESPN+ 15 weigh-in results:
MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 6 a.m. ET)
Champ Jessica Andrade (114.5) vs. Weili Zhang (115) – for strawweight title
Li Jingliang (171) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170.5)
Mark De La Rosa (125.5) vs. Kai Kara-France (126)
Movsar Evloev (146) vs. Zhenhong Lu (146)
Mizuki Inoue (125) vs. Wu Yanan (129)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 3 a.m. ET)
Song Kenan (170.5) vs. Derrick Krantz (169)
Anthony Hernandez (185) vs. Jun Yong Park (186)
Su Mudaerji (136) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (136)
Khadis Ibragimov (206) vs. Da Un Jung (206)
Damir Ismagulov (155.5) vs. Thiago Moises (156)
Heili Alateng (136) vs. Danaa Batgerel (136)
Lara Procopio (135) vs. Karol Rosa (135.5)
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.