There has been quite the discourse in recent weeks on the best female fighters on the planet, and UFC president Dana White has given his opinion on who should be considered for such a distinction.
White spoke with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports about the upcoming championship rematch between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili. He said Namajunas and Weili are two of four fighters he sees as the “baddest women on Earth” right now. White also included bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes as well as flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.
“Listen, in my opinion right now and before that fight, the four baddest women on Earth are Amanda Nunes, Valentina Shevchenko, Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang,” said White. “So anything can happen on Saturday night. The interesting thing about Rose is she’s so unassuming. She’s so quiet and so sweet and a tiny little thing. She will knock you dead with her hands, with her feet. She has that female knockout power. And so does Weili.”
Namajunas became a two-time strawweight champion with a first-round knockout over Weili at UFC 261 this past April. An immediate rematch was set, and both women meet again in the co-main event of UFC 268 on Saturday night.
Nunes and Shevchenko have been dominant in their respective divisions, currently holding the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the women’s pound-for-pound rankings. They are also former opponents, with ‘The Lioness’ besting ‘The Bullet’ twice by decision at UFC 196 and UFC 215, respectively.
Nunes has continued to reign as a dual champion after defeating the likes of Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm and Germaine De Randamie in recent years. She will return to the Octagon to defend her 135-pound title against Julianna Peña at UFC 269 in December.
Shevchenko won the flyweight title against Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 231 and went on to defend it a record six times. Her most recent defense was a fourth-round technical knockout of Lauren Murphy at UFC 266.
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