Zhang Linpeng (UFC): Who Is He? Bio, Wiki, Age, Career, Real Madrid, Retirement and More

Zhang Lipeng’s journey in MMA is a testament to the power of perseverance and dedication. From humble beginnings to international recognition, he has proven that with hard work and passion, anything is possible

As Zhang continues to make his mark in the world of MMA, his story serves as an inspiration to aspiring fighters everywhere.

Looking ahead, Zhang is scheduled to face Maurice Abévi on May 4, 2024, at ONE Fight Night 22, where he aims to continue his impressive run in the world of mixed martial arts.

In a recent bout at ONE 161 on September 29, 2022, Zhang faced Saygid Izagakhmaev, but unfortunately lost the fight via unanimous decision.

However, he bounced back in spectacular fashion, facing Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE Fight Night 15 on October 6, 2023, and winning the fight via technical knockout in the first round, earning another Performance of the Night award.

Zhang Linpeng’s potential move to Real Madrid represents a significant development in both his career and the growing influence of Chinese football on the global stage.

Zhang Linpeng
Zhang Linpeng (Image: Source)

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Zhang Lipeng: Bio

A Rising Star in the World of MMA

Zhang Lipeng, known in Chinese as 张立鹏, is a talented professional mixed martial artist born on March 10, 1990.1

He is a prominent figure in the Lightweight division of ONE Championship and has also made his mark in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Zhang’s journey to success began when he secured a UFC contract by triumphing in an 8-man tournament featured on The Ultimate Fighter: China.

Early Life

Zhang Lipeng hails from China and developed a passion for martial arts at a young age. He dedicated himself to mastering various disciplines, honing his skills and preparing for a future in competitive fighting.

His hard work and determination eventually paid off, leading him to pursue a career in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Zhang’s talent and dedication quickly caught the attention of MMA enthusiasts and promoters alike. His impressive performances in the lightweight division of the UFC and ONE Championship showcased his skills and potential.

Zhang’s ability to adapt to different fighting styles and his strategic approach to matches have made him a formidable competitor in the MMA world.

Achievements and Milestones

Throughout his career, Zhang Lipeng has achieved significant milestones and accolades.

His victory in The Ultimate Fighter: China tournament not only earned him a UFC contract but also solidified his status as a rising star in the sport.

Zhang’s success has inspired many aspiring martial artists in China and beyond, motivating them to pursue their dreams in MMA.

As Zhang continues to evolve as a fighter, his future in MMA looks promising. His determination to succeed, coupled with his unwavering commitment to the sport, sets him apart as a true contender in the lightweight division.

With each new challenge, Zhang strives to push his limits and achieve greater heights in his career.

Zhang Linpeng
Zhang Linpeng (Image: Source)

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Zhang Lipeng: Career

Early Professional Career

Zhang embarked on his professional mixed martial arts journey in 2009, stepping into the ring for regional promotions in China.2

His initial record stood at 7–7–1, showcasing a fighter dedicated to honing his craft. It was this perseverance that eventually led him to a tryout on the prestigious Ultimate Fighter in 2013.

The Ultimate Fighter: China

Selected as one of the welterweight participants for Team Sky Dragons, Zhang made a strong impression on The Ultimate Fighter: China’s inaugural season.

His debut fight on the show ended in victory, as he defeated Zhu Qingxiang by submission in the first round. Zhang continued his winning streak, securing a second-round victory over Albert Cheng via submission (kimura) to advance to the finals.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Zhang’s official debut in the UFC took place at The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale on March 1, 2014. Facing fellow castmate Wang Sai in the welterweight finals, Zhang emerged victorious, clinching a split decision win.

His success continued as he faced Brendan O’Reilly in a lightweight bout on August 23, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 48, defeating O’Reilly via unanimous decision.

In his subsequent UFC appearances, Zhang faced tough competition. He fought Chris Wade on January 18, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 59, but lost via unanimous decision.

A similar fate followed in his fight against Kajan Johnson at UFC Fight Night 66 on May 16, 2015, where he lost via unanimous decision, leading to his release from the promotion.

ONE Championship

Returning to China, Zhang found success in Kunlun Fight, where he became the welterweight champion and achieved an impressive record, with 21 wins out of his last 24 fights, including 10 submissions and 7 knockouts.

His outstanding performance caught the attention of ONE Championship, and he was signed to a contract.

Zhang’s journey in ONE Championship has been marked by notable victories. He faced Eduard Folayang at ONE: Battleground 2 on August 13, 2021, winning the bout via unanimous decision.

His dominance continued as he faced Ruslan Emilbek Uulu at ONE: Only the Brave on January 28, 2022, knocking out his opponent within 32 seconds of the first round and earning the Performance of the Night award.

Zhang Linpeng
Zhang Linpeng (Image: Source)

Zhang Linpeng: Join Real Madrid

Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng has reportedly reached an agreement to play for Real Madrid, according to reports from China’s government TV channel, CCTV5.

A Potential Move to Real Madrid

The 26-year-old centre-back had previously hinted at a move to Chelsea, as reported by Chinese newspaper Titan (h/t Reuters’ Ian Ransom).

However, recent developments suggest a possible switch to Los Blancos, with the presence of Xu Jiayin, the head of the Evergrande group, during Madrid’s recent 1-0 win over Granada being a significant factor, according to AS’ Joaquin Maroto.

CCTV5 (h/t Maroto) has reported that a deal has now been completed:

“The defender isn’t a minor (he’s 26 now) and according to CCTV5, the Chinese government’s TV channel, he’s reached an agreement to play for Real Madrid.

He’s been called the Chinese Sergio Ramos, he’s an international and he plays for Guangzhou Evergrande. This summer he was in talks with Chelsea, but in the end he’s chosen Madrid.”

Zhang Linpeng
Zhang Linpeng

Previous Links with Chelsea

Zhang Linpeng’s links with Chelsea caused confusion during the summer, when the China international claimed Chelsea had sent him a contract and that he was on his way to Stamford Bridge. He expressed his excitement, saying:

“I’m very happy and very excited to finally have this formal invitation. I’ve worked hard and waited these five-six years for my dream of playing overseas, and finally have recognition from the English Premier League.”

Real Madrid’s Defensive Depth

  • While Linpeng is considered one of China’s top players, known for his remarkable technical ability, questions arise as to why Real Madrid would sign another centre-back, given the presence of Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Pepe, and Nacho in the squad.
  • However, from an economic standpoint, the move makes sense. China is a burgeoning football market with immense growth potential. If one of China’s top stars were to join Real Madrid, shirt sales in the Asian superpower would likely soar.
  • The timing of these reports is intriguing, as the Spanish transfer market closed weeks ago, and the Chinese Super League campaign is currently underway.
  • A move in the January transfer window remains a possibility, providing both parties ample time to finalize the details.
Zhang Linpeng
Zhang Linpeng

Zhang Linpeng: Retirement

Contemplates Retirement from National Team After Draw with Singapore

China’s national team captain, Zhang Linpeng, is considering retirement from international football following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Singapore in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.3

The match, which took place on Thursday, left Zhang contemplating his future with the team.

Chinese media described the match as a walkover for the visitors. Despite China taking a 2-0 lead in the first half thanks to striker Wu Lei’s brace, a lackluster performance in the second half allowed Singapore to equalize.


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Zhang’s Reflections

  • The 34-year-old defender expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, stating, “I think it’s time for me to call it a day on my international career. When our team had problems in the match, the approaches we took were unacceptable to me.”
  • Zhang also expressed regret for letting down the team’s supporters, a sentiment echoed by his wife, who shared details of their conversation after the game.
  • Zhang told his wife, “I do think I couldn’t have done better. I made 200 percent effort every day, but in no way I can accept a result like this.”
  • China is set to face Singapore again on March 26, this time at home in Tianjin. The team currently sits third in Group C, with a record of 2-1, including an away win over Thailand and a home loss to South Korea.
  • South Korea leads the group with 7 points, followed by Thailand with 4 points. Singapore remains at the bottom with one point.
  • The top two teams from the group will advance to the 18-team third stage of the Asian qualifying tournament.

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  1. wikipedia
Kankana Biswas
Kankana Biswas

I'm a strategic journalism graduate with expertise on socio-political issues, business, and finance. I'm a self-made entrepreneur, and have contributed to various news/media outlets since 2015. I also received degree of journalism from the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

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