UFC 292: 3 things we learned

UFC 292 in Boston turned a rising star into a champion. Here are 3 big takeaways.
UFC 292: Sterling v O'Malley
UFC 292: Sterling v O'Malley / Paul Rutherford/GettyImages
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2. The UFC needs to book a trip to China ASAP

What more is there to say about Zhang's performance against Lemos at UFC 292?

She was so dominant that a finish would have been a bonus. Zhang blew Lemos out numerically on their feet--288 total strikes to 21, the largest strike difference in all women's divisions. Add her six successful takedowns and 14 minutes and 52 seconds of control time. It was a 25-minute masterclass. Zhang even included examples of surviving and escaping submissions.

Now the question is what's next for the strawweight queen? She already beat No. 1 contender Carla Esparza to win the title and fought No. 2 Rose Namajunas twice, although she lost both meetings. Some may argue that this warrants a third bout with Thug Rose to solidify Zhang's supremacy-- but whether or not Namajunas deserves the title shot right now is questionable.

Meanwhile, Zhang is on a collision course with another Chinese fighter on the strawweight apex, Yan Xiaonan. Yan has been impressive in her past two fights and is third in the divisional rankings.

Now is the perfect time to book both women for a title fight in China. Outside Yan, there is a shortage of new and intriguing matches for Zhang in the division. However, there is no lack of excitement for a title fight in Beijing. The first quarter of 2024 isn't too much to ask, isn't it?