11 Jun - 
Jessica Andrade vs. Weili Zhang UFC title fight headed to China on Aug. 31

Jessica Andrade’s first UFC strawweight title defense will come in enemy territory against a surprising challenger.

It’s not a Rose Namajunas rematch, a showdown with the undefeated Tatiana Suarez, or even a date with Michelle Waterson. Instead, Weili Zhang is up next to fight for the gold.

Zhang (19-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will become the first Chinese fighter to compete for a UFC title when she challenges Andrade (20-6 MMA, 11-4 UFC) for the 115-pound belt at UFC on ESPN+ 15 in August. Moreover, Zhang will get the opportunity on home soil in China.

A person close to the situation confirmed to MMA Junkie that verbal agreements for the bout are in place following an in initial report from ESPN.com. The person requested anonymity because the UFC has yet to make an official announcement.

UFC on ESPN+ 15 takes place Aug. 31 at Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen. The event is set to stream on ESPN+.

Andrade, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA strawweight rankings, will waste no time returning to action after she claimed the title at UFC 237 in May with a stunning slam knockout of Namajunas. There was speculation her next matchup would come in the form of a rematch with Namajunas or a notable contender in Suarez or Waterson, but that won’t be the case.

No. 10 Zhang has won 19 consecutive fights after losing her professional debut in November 2013. She’s won four-straight under the UFC banner, including a pair of notable wins over Tecia Torres and Jessica Aguilar.

Now Zhang gets a chance to make UFC history in her home country.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 15, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.