Amanda Lemos is aiming for a definitive victory when she faces Zhang Weili at UFC 292 for a shot at the UFC strawweight title after going 7-1 in a 35-month span.
Amanda Lemos has earned a shot at the UFC strawweight title after going 7-1 in a 35-month span, recently defeating Michelle Waterson-Gomez and Marina Rodriguez. She is now preparing for a definitive victory against Zhang Weili at UFC 292 on August 19. In a recent podcast interview, Lemos expressed excitement and determination about the upcoming fight, saying, “Weili is very explosive, she likes to finish fights just like myself, so we’ll set the octagon on fire. I have a nice strategy, and I’m sure I’ll leave the cage with the belt.”
Lemos admits that she was surprised to receive the matchup in Boston, especially after months of speculation about a potential UFC show in China headlined by Weili. Having already fought and scored finishes in five of her seven fights since joining the UFC in 2019, she is now focused on making history. Regarding Weili’s fighting style, Lemos stated, “Her being that explosive is a good thing we’re studying in training. It’s going to be a super tough fight… She wants her belt, I want that belt for me, so it definitely won’t be left in the hands of the judges.”
Having previously been the Jungle Fight bantamweight champion, Lemos is no stranger to the octagon. Both Lemos and Zhang hold a 7-2 record, with Lemos finishing first round stoppages over Montserrat Ruiz, Livinha Souza, and Miranda Granger, and Zhang defeated higher-ranked foes such as Carla Esparza, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Andrade, and Jessica Aguilar. Lemos has been focusing on improving her skills, saying, “I’m sharpening my tools in all areas. I feel I’m evolving in each training. I have a new jiu-jitsu coach and he’s badass. I’m learning new tricks I can’t wait to put them in practice… It’s either a knockout or a submission, that’s what I’m coming after on August 19.”
The opportunity to compete for the UFC gold is a significant milestone for Lemos, who had quit the sport seven years ago due to a lack of opportunities as Jungle Fight champion. Eventually, a call from her manager Wallid Ismail changed her trajectory, providing her with a short-notice UFC opportunity against Leslie Smith. Despite injuries and setbacks, including a two-year suspension and a severe spine injury, Lemos has made a comeback and is more determined than ever, stating, “The doctor that did my [spine] surgery told me to find another career, but I always believed in God, and here I am.”