Rose Namajunas narrowly retains title with split decision over Zhang Weili

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·Combat columnist
·1-min read
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Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko get all of the credit for being the greatest women’s fighters in history, but Rose Namajunas is quietly building her own case.

On Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, Namajunas eked out a split decision victory over Zhang Weili in a rematch of their battle at UFC 261, which Namajunas won by knockout. This time, judges saw it 48-47 and 49-46 for Namajunas and 48-47 for Zhang.

The win makes Namajunas 11-4 overall and gives her five wins over women who at one point have held a UFC belt. She has fought nothing but champions since an April 15, 2017 victory over Michelle Waterson.

Since then, Namajunas faced Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice, Jessica Andrade twice and Zhang twice. She’s gone 5-1 in those fights and her win Saturday improved her record to 4-0 in rematches.

Zhang fought hard in a bid to regain her belt, but Namajunas managed to find a way to quell most of the threats.

She had a late takedown and landed some ground-and-pound to guarantee herself the decisive fifth round.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (R-L) Rose Namajunas punches Zhang Weili in their strawweight title bout during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (R-L) Rose Namajunas punches Zhang Weili in their strawweight title bout during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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