UFC Fight Night 157 - China Breakdown
When is UFC Fight Night 157? Saturday 31st August, 2019 - 11:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 157? Shenzhen Universade Centre Arena, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
What channel is UFC Fight Night 157? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 157? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ which can you sign up to here!
Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 157? https://www.ufc.com/tickets
Jessica Andrade vs Weili Zhang
Jessica Andrade makes the first defence of her strawweight crown after piledriving Rose Namajunas out of consciousness back in May and the hard Brazilian has accepted one of the toughest challenges in the division – Weili Zhang in China.
Andrade waited patiently for the UFC to open its doors to the 115 lb division after slugging it out up at 135 lbs. She lost her first title fight to Joanna Jedrzejczyk after three straight wins but walked through top contenders Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres and Karolina Kowalkiewicz before snatching the title away from Namajunas.
This is a somewhat surprising match-up for Andrade. Zhang is a beast but not well-known among casual fans so this has not garnered much attention. She also makes the long trip to China for the first time to meet Zhang on home turf.
Zhang has only had three UFC fights: earning a decision over Danielle Taylor, a submission over Jessica Aguilar and a decision over Tecia Torres. She has won 19 fights in a row and is impeccably well-rounded with power to give Andrade a serious run for her money.
Considering Andrade’s experience she will be the favourite with many expecting her to overwhelm Zhang with heavy strikes and take her down at will to dish out some heavy ground-and-pound.
However, Zhang is too good to let this happen. Technically, she is a much better striker than the champion and arguably as powerful. She has great hand speed and ferocious kicks which she won’t hesitate to throw in fear of being taken down as she is also an excellent grappler.
Andrade needs to take her down and keep her on her back but her passion to stand and bang will get her in trouble. Zhang will be waiting to counter Andrade’s wild attacks with her brilliant stiff jab and follow up with un-telegraphed kicks. Andrade eats a lot of shots but cannot afford to take too many from Zhang so expect her to eventually look for takedowns.
If Zhang can keep the fight on the feet she has all the skill to shock the world. If she gets past the third round, Andrade will begin to tire and pour on enough punishment to earn the decision.
Winner: Zhang via Decision
Li Jingliang vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
The electrifying Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos makes the trip to Li Jingliang’s native China hoping to extend his seven-fight winning streak but ’The Leech’ has other ideas as he looks to continue his violent quest up the welterweight division.
It is surprising Zaleski dos Santos is not a bigger name. He has only lost once in his last 12 fights which was a close split decision against Nicolas Dalby and he is one of the most exciting fighters on the roster. He translates his Capoeira training into his fights spectacularly and successfully as we saw when he finished Sean Strickland with a spinning wheel kick and Luigi Vendramini with a flying knee. He is also a terrific grappler coming off a submission over Curtis Millender.
After Jake Matthews snapped a four-fight winning streak with a unanimous decision, Jingliang has looked back to his best. He earned a dominant decision over Daichi Abe and finished David Zawada with a fierce side kick to the liver in his last outing.
This is likely to be a war and although they can both grapple, they are likely to keep the fight standing to pursue a knockout. Jingliang is very aggressive and likes to force the pressure but this plays into Zaleski dos Santos’ hands who can counter from anywhere.
Jingliang, needs to approach this with a solid game plan of mixing in strikes with takedowns to stifle the Brazilian’s rhythm. However, his tendency to brawl is likely to land him in trouble as the Brazilian has more strings to his bow. Three rounds suits Zaleski dos Santos but Jingliang’s durability should keep him in the fight until the bell.
Winner: Zaleski dos Santos via Decision
Kenan Song vs Derrick Krantz
Kenan Song walks out for his fourth UFC fight against Derrick Krantz who fights outside of the US for the first time in his career.
Song has fought his whole career in Asia and will be comfortable in home surroundings. He lost his first UFC fight in his last outing missing out on a unanimous decision to Alex Morono which came off the back of two very impressive knockouts over Hector Aldana and Bobby Nash.
Although Krantz has only had one UFC fight in which he was a late replacement, he is very experienced. He has applied most of his trade for the Legacy Fighting Alliance where he became their first welterweight champion and after two knockout wins, he stepped up to face top contender Vicente Luque. Krantz suffered a first round TKO but this experience will have served him well.
Krantz’ stats are only based off of that loss with Luque but we know that he is heavy handed and calls upon his wrestling to search for a submission. Song is also well-rounded and a natural finisher so this should be an exciting scrap with high outputs.
Although there have only been three decisions out of their combined 51 fights we cannot rule one out. Travelling overseas to fight for the first time and getting used to the Chinese conditions may play a part but Krantz’ wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu could be the deciding factor.
If he can implement a game plan with takedowns, he can create openings for his hands or at least take the fight away from Song with his grappling.
Winner: Krantz via Decision
Kai Kara-France vs Mark De La Rosa
Two young guns in the flyweight division are desperate for a win and to keep the dissolving division on the map. Kai Kara-France and Mark De La Rosa have a lot of potential and talents worthy of being in the UFC.
One of the new breed of fighters from New Zealand, Kara-France has truly found his form in the last few years. He has only lost once in his last 13 fights and is on a seven-fight winning streak. He has won both of his UFC fights via decision – Elias Garcia on his debut and Raulin Paiva in his last fight.
De La Rosa arrived to the UFC unbeaten in nine fights but tasted the step-up in competition when he met Tim Elliot on his debut. He got submitted but bounced back with a submission of his own against Garcia and then a decision over Joby Sanchez. However, he is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Alex Perez.
Both fighters are very well-rounded but Kara-France’s strengths lie in his striking and De La Rosa's in his grappling. So, De La Rosa’s best chance will be taking Kara-France to the floor and looking for a submission.
However, we have seen very little of his wrestling so far in the UFC and Kara-France has great takedown defence which is likely to keep the fight on the feet, where his power will take the fight away from De La Rosa.
Winner: Kara-France via Decision