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Zhang Weili's ethnicity: what language does she speak? Everything we know about the UFC champ's Chinese background

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With a record of 24-3, UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili is arguably one of the most dominant fighters in UFC history. Weili has one of the most well-rounded skillsets on the entire UFC women's roster. She has picked up victories against top competitors like Jessica Andrade, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza and is now hoping to pick up a win against Yan Xiaonan this weekend.

Since Zhang Weili isn't as vocal as most UFC champions, not much is known about who the 24-3 fighter is. Here is some information that will help you get to know the UFC strawweight champion a little better.

Zhang Weili's ethnicity, nationality and place of birth

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Zhang Weili was born on August 13, 1989 in Handan, Hebei, China. Although she is not the first Chinese fighter in the UFC, she is the first person in the country's 1.4 billion population to win a UFC world title. Weili proudly flies the flag of China when she fights, representing both her culture and her people.

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“Magnum's” made history for her country with a 42-second knockout of Andrade in the title fight. But her martial arts journey to this moment began at a very young age. Zhang Weili's parents were the ones who introduced the 34-year-old to the Chinese full-contact self-defense system and the martial art Sanda. Unfortunately, she had to end her Sanda career early due to a serious back injury.

Weili claimed that she got the inspiration to join MMA from watching Ronda Rousey became UFC champion in 2013. In November of that year, Zhang Weili made her professional MMA debut in the Chinese MMA League, where she lost but was on an absolute high, winning all 16 fights for a UFC contract. She is now 8-2 in her UFC career and has won UFC gold twice.

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What language does Weili speak?

Zhang Weili is from Hebei County and is fluent in Jilu Mandarin, Beijing Mandarin and Jin. Weili conducts most of her interviews in Mandarin, but she has shown interest in learning English to reach her fans and perhaps even her opponents.

Before Weili's first title defense at UFC 248, however Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the two went back and forth, with Jedrzejczyk trying to intimidate the Chinese champion during the faceoff. However, Weili quickly responded to “JJ's” trash talk with a quick but stern “Shut up!”, which was attributed to the fact that she was taking English classes at the time.

Following the duel, she gave an interview with Ariel Helwani (who worked for ESPN at the time), speaking in English at the MMA analyst's request. Fans in the comments praised her efforts to learn and speak the language and thought she was trash talking “Cute.”

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At UFC 300, Weili will be among the select few to have her name etched in history as part of the UFC's celebrated tercentennial PPV card. Do you think she can triumph over fellow Chinese Yan Xiaonan? Let us know in the comments.

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