The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back for the next 10 weekends in a row, which will carry the MMA calendar deep into the fall.
First up is a stop this Saturday to Shenzhen, China for UFC on ESPN+ 15. Due to the time difference between the United States Eastern Time Zone and China, it’s an early card.
The action begins with a seven-fight undercard on ESPN at 3 a.m. EDT, midnight PDT on Saturday morning, with the four-fight main card at 6 a.m. EDT, 3 a.m. PDT from the Universiade Sports Centre,
So, if you want to watch this card live, you have two options:
1. Go to bed early on Friday afternoon.
2. Don’t go to bed at all.
If, however, you prefer to get some shuteye and miss the card live early Saturday morning, ESPN+ will have the entirety of this event archived for on-demand streaming later on in the morning.
Highlighting the morning’s card is a fight for the UFC’s Strawweight division championship. Incumbent champion Jessica Andrade (20-6) will meet challenger and No. 6 contender Zhang Weili (19-1) in a five-round fight at five minutes per round.
Heading into Saturday morning’s title fight, challenger Zhang Weili is the taller contestant. She stands 5-foot-4, three inches taller than champion Jessica Andrade’s 5-foot-1 frame.
Champion Andrade has posted a 4-1 record in her last five UFC appearances and enters Saturday morning’s main event on a four-fight unbeaten streak. Most recently, she scored a second-round knockout due to a slam vs. Rose Namajunas during the UFC 237 main event on May 11 on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
As a result of her efforts, Jessica Andrade secured $100,000 in bonus money by winning the $50,000 Fight of the Night Bonus and the $50,000 Performance of the Night Bonus.
In the other corner, challenger Weili has gone 5-0 in her last five fights. Last time out, she defeated Tecia Torres via unanimous decision in UFC 235 on Mar. 2 on pay-per-view.
The Tale of the Tape
UFC.com shows that Zhang Weili owns a one-inch reach advantage (63 inches to 62 inches) and a three-quarter-inch leg reach advantage (36 inches even to 35.25 inches) over Jessica Andrade heading into the main event on Saturday.
Prediction: Zhang Weili by first-round knockout.
Other fights on Saturday morning’s main card
Li Jingliang (16-5) vs. No. 14 contender Elizeu dos Santos (21-5) [Welterweight, co-main event]
No. 10 contender Kai Kara-France (19-7) vs. No. 14 contender Mark de la Rosa (11-2) [Flyweight]
Song Kenan (14-5) vs. Derrick Krantz (24-11) [Welterweight]
Movlar Evloev’s fight vs. Zhenhong Lu was canceled due to the latter suffering a cut during training camp.
Wu Yanan (10-2) vs. Mizuki Inoue (13-5, UFC debut) [Women’s Flyweight]
UFC on ESPN+ 15 at a Glance
Prelims: Saturday, 3 a.m. EDT, midnight PDT, ESPN
Main Card: Saturday, 6 a.m. EDT, 3 a.m. PDT, ESPN+
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