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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