began sharing power with civilian leaders and opening the country, allowing cellphones and affordable internet access to flood in.

Ms. Thuzar Wint Lwin is part of the first generation in Myanmar to grow up fully connected to the outside world, and for whom a free society seemed normal. In 2015, the country seated democratically elected officials for the first time in more than half a century. “We have been living in freedom for five years,” she said. “Do not take us back. We know all about the world. We have the internet.”

November was the first time she was old enough to vote, and she cast her ballot for the National League for Democracy, the party of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, which won in a landslide only to have the military overturn the results by seizing power.

Before the coup, Ms. Thuzar Wint Lwin’s biggest ordeal came when she was 19 and had surgery to remove precancerous tumors from each breast, leaving permanent scars. She decided against having laser treatment to improve their appearance as a reminder of her success in preventing cancer.

“It’s just a scar and I’m still me,” she wrote in a recent post with photographs of the scars. “I met self-acceptance realizing nothing changed who I am and the values I set for myself. Now, when I see those scars, I feel empowered.”

autobiographical video on Facebook that would be unusual for any beauty pageant contestant: It shows her wearing formal gowns mixed with scenes of people fleeing tear gas and a soldier shooting a man who rode by on a motorbike.

“Myanmar deserves democracy,” she says in the video. “We will keep fighting and I also hope that international communities will give us help that we desperately need.”

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My Crash Course in Covering a U.F.C. Fight

I read up on the basics, like the prohibitions on biting, head-butting and hair-pulling. Which makes for one advantage in doing a crash course on a sport like M.M.A. versus, say, cricket: There are fewer rules. Finally, I understood the origin of the phrase “no holds barred.”

The night before the fight, I texted my father-in-law, Gary, who lives in Pittsburgh and is a big U.F.C. fan, asking for tips.

“Don’t blink,” he said. “It’s fast paced and anything can happen in an instant, including lack of consciousness.”

I texted back a sweating emoji.

On Sunday morning in Taiwan, I woke up, showered and poured myself some coffee before settling on the couch with my laptop in front of the TV, ready to take in several hours of raw, unbridled combat.

Then the fights began. Watching the live action, I quickly realized that no amount of work beforehand could have prepared me for the gruesomeness of the sport. In the first bout, I saw one fighter, Jimmy Crute, go down in the opening round after Anthony Smith delivered a hard kick to the back of his knee. In the second fight, I watched Chris Weidman shatter his leg just by kicking Uriah Hall’s knee at the start of the bout.

Turns out my father-in-law was right.

There were also some uplifting moments. Like Hall’s gracious interview after Weidman was taken out of the octagon on a stretcher. And the Kyrgyzstani fighter Valentina Shevchenko’s endearing but lost-in-translation exchange with Joe Rogan, one of the announcers, about rising to the challenge.

And then there was Namajunas, who defied the bettors by knocking out Zhang with a powerful kick to the head in the first round. Tears streamed down the former champion’s face as the title belt was wrapped around her waist once again.

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Biden’s Big Speech, by the Numbers

The S.E.C.’s new enforcement chief resigns unexpectedly. Days into her new job, Alex Oh, a former partner at Paul, Weiss, stepped down after a federal court ruling involving one of her former clients, Exxon Mobil. In a case involving claims of human rights abuses in Indonesia, the presiding judge rebuked Exxon’s legal team for derogatory comments about opposing counsel.

Endeavor will finally go public. The entertainment giant co-founded by Ari Emanuel, which owns the WME talent agency and the UFC mixed martial arts league, raised $511 million in its I.P.O. at a $10 billion valuation, the top of its expected price range. Its successful offering comes two years after it called off an I.P.O. amid a lukewarm reception from investors.

Verizon considers selling its old-guard internet media business. The telecom giant is exploring the sale of assets like AOL and Yahoo, according to The Wall Street Journal. Potential buyers include Apollo Global Management, and the WSJ reports that a deal could be valued at up to $5 billion. Verizon spent $9 billion buying the once-dominant web giants.

For many cryptocurrency supporters and investors, U.S. regulatory approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund represents the holy grail. It would allow the crypto-curious to get exposure to Bitcoin without having to buy the tokens themselves, signifying that digital assets are really, truly mainstream. But it’s not meant to be — yet. Yesterday, the S.E.C. delayed a decision on a Bitcoin E.T.F. proposal from the investment manager VanEck, saying it needs more time but offering no other explanation.

Delay is not denial, and it may be a good sign, Todd Cipperman, the founder of the compliance services firm CCS, told DealBook. When considering the concept of a crypto E.T.F. in 2018, the S.E.C. raised questions about investor protection issues and put a “wet blanket on the whole idea,” he said. Now crypto is much bigger, and Gary Gensler, who taught courses about blockchain technology at M.I.T., is chair of the S.E.C. His expertise doesn’t guarantee success for crypto E.T.F.s, but it will be easier for an expert in the field to approve them, Cipperman suggested.

The deadline can be extended again. The S.E.C. gave itself until mid-June, with the option to take more time, but it must decide before year’s end. The regulator has rejected every proposal to date, starting with the first Bitcoin E.T.F. pitch in 2013, presented by the Winklevoss twins, which was eventually rejected in 2017 (and again in 2018). There are several E.T.F. proposals on the table now, including one from the traditional finance giant Fidelity.

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Who Is Zhang Weili, the Chinese U.F.C. Champion Fighting on Saturday?

Days before the bout to defend her championship title, Zhang Weili, China’s most famous mixed martial arts fighter, sensed her opponent was trying to get under her skin.

The opponent, the Lithuanian-American fighter Rose Namajunas, had framed their clash for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 115-pound title as no less than an ideological contest between freedom and Communism. “Better dead than red,” Ms. Namajunas said, using a McCarthy era anti-Communist slogan.

But Ms. Zhang, 30, a strawweight who has lost only one of her 22 professional fights, wasn’t about to take the bait.

“We are just athletes,” Ms. Zhang said in an interview from Jacksonville, Fla., where on Saturday she will face Ms. Namajunas in front of a sold-out crowd.

China was still trying to bring the coronavirus under control and the United States had not yet gone into lockdown. Weeks before the bout, Ms. Jedrzejczyk posted a photoshopped poster of herself in a gas mask next to Ms. Zhang. She later apologized for making light of the virus.

“My country is ravaged by the epidemic,” an emotional Ms. Zhang, her face barely recognizable from the swelling, said after the fight. “I hope China will win the battle; the epidemic is a common enemy of humankind.”

Communist Youth League to make a video encouraging young Chinese to “dedicate your best youth to your beloved motherland.” Around the same time, the American cosmetics company Estée Lauder named her its brand ambassador in China.

On Chinese social media, Ms. Zhang often posts videos about her training sessions and her schnauzer, Miu, for her 5.5 million followers. Her fans write frequently about being inspired by her rejection of traditional notions of how a woman should look and behave. Some people also speculate about her love life — she says she is single — and joke about whether anyone would dare to date her given her violent occupation.

“Those people don’t understand me. They only see who I am inside the octagon,” Ms. Zhang said, referring to the eight-sided ring in which U.F.C. fights take place.

From her U.F.C. winnings alone, Ms. Zhang has earned around $1 million, according to her agent. Despite that success, she said, little about her life has changed. She still rents a house on the outskirts of Beijing with seven other people, including her coach and one of her brothers. She still trains five hours a day at the nearby Black Tiger Fight Club.

Ms. Zhang’s fame in China has been a windfall for the U.F.C., which has been actively expanding its presence in the country, including opening a $13 million training facility in Shanghai.

“She’s been the tide that lifts all boats,” said Kevin Chang, U.F.C.’s senior vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region.

Days before her showdown on Saturday with Ms. Namajunas, Ms. Zhang said she was feeling good. She had already begun to torture herself by looking at photos of the foods she was hoping to eat after the fight. (Ice cream and steamed buns are among her favorites, she said.)

Had she thought about what would she say in the octagon if she won? Would there be another impassioned plea about humankind?

She wasn’t sure, but just in case, she had in her back pocket a signature line in English that she has sometimes used after a win.

“My name is Zhang Weili!” she yells triumphantly. “I am from China — remember me!”

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