Tiequan Zhang made history when he became the first Chinese fighter to compete in the WEC. Sources close to MMAWeekly.com have confirmed that the “Mongolian Wolf” will also be the first Chinese fighter to step foot into the UFC’s Octagon.
Tiequan successfully debuted at WEC 51 with a first round submission victory over Pablo Garza. Garza was a late replacement to original opponent Jason Reinhardt, who was forced out after he didn’t pass a standard pre-fight eye exam, which since has been fixed with PRK corrective eye surgery.
The China Top Team fighter returned to action at WEC 53, but was unable to duplicate his previous performance. Tiequan dropped a unanimous decision to Danny Downes in a fight that saw his conditioning fade in the later rounds.
More determined than ever, Tiequan returned to the gym just one week after his bout against Downes and has been working with Muay Thai legend Vince Soberano on his cardio. In addition, the Art of War FC veteran has made changes to his diet and nutrition.
“There’s no excuse for my loss,” stated Tiequan. “It was a loss and I will be back stronger.”
Despite suffering his first career loss, Tiequan Zhang will transition to the UFC as part of the WEC merger. Expect the “Mongolian Wolf” to enter the Octagon in the near future.
(UPDATED 8:40 p.m. PT on Jan. 4, 2011 to reflect Reinhardt eye surgery instead of injury.)