UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili has spoken of the gender bias she faces as a female MMA athlete in heartfelt discussion online. “I often tell people not to think all female MMA fighters as manly and violent,” the 31-year-old said on Thursday, speaking as part of a series of live talks for Open English. “We know how to fight. But it is biased to think we will be violent at home because we get paid for fighting and it’s not cheap. Zhang said that traditional gender roles no longer need to be the norm, describing gender bias as a headache. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Weili Zhang 张伟丽 (@zhangweilimma) “The gender bias has been a headache. Boys can sell lipsticks and girls can box and wrestle. Those are normal jobs.” The UFC strawweight champion retained her title against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 in Las Vegas in March. ‘My next target is myself,’ says UFC champ Zhang Weili “Bias does not only bring harm to others but also becomes your own barrier in the world you see, in the kind of person you become and in the life you live.” Rumours of a title defence against another former champion, Rose Namajunas, have grown in the last week. Zhang’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Pedro Jordao said that a fight with the Lithuanian-American is likely to happen in the first quarter of next year. “We’ll see how things go with this virus,” the Brazilian told MMA Fighting. “But I think it will probably be in the first quarter ... We’re training for a while here. It appears that her next fight will be against Rose, but nothing is set yet. Everything indicates that’s the plan – and it makes sense, everybody knows that. However, other candidates have thrown their hat into the ring to be Zhang’s next opponent, including fellow Chinese fighter Yan Xiaonan. Zhang has spearheaded the popularity of UFC in China, with her Fight of the Year contender against Jedrzejczyk making waves worldwide. Zhang vs Yan fight would see UFC put China in a chokehold China’s Wu Yanan will fight in the women’s bantamweight division against Brazil’s Bethe Correia at the UFC Fight Night: Jack Hermansson vs. Kevin Holland in Las Vegas on Sunday, December 6. It will be the first fight outside China for “Mulan”.