Sources: Zhang leaves China over virus concerns

MMA

Chinese UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili successfully traveled from her home country to Thailand last weekend, according to sources close to the situation.

Weili (20-1) is scheduled to make her first 115-pound title defense against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 on March 7 in Las Vegas. She normally trains out of Beijing, but uprooted her camp due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 20,000 in China.

Weili is currently preparing for her title fight at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand. UFC president Dana White told ESPN there is no concern at the moment Weili will withdraw from the bout.

“It’s been good for us so far,” White said on the status of the UFC’s Chinese athletes. “Nobody is sick. Nobody is hurt. That’s No. 1 — not any of our employees, staff or fighters. And No. 2, Weili Zhang is training in Thailand for this fight. She’s over at Tiger Muay Thai. She’s not even in China.”

News of Weili’s move was first reported by MMAFighting.com, which also reported Chinese fighters Li Yingliang and Xiaonan Yan have left the country of China as well.

Weili is the first UFC champion to come out of China. She was born in the Hebei province.

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