Rose Namajunas previews Weili Zhang matchup: “She’s a master; I’m a master”

Rose Namajunas, UFC 237

Former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas believes she’s the next woman in line for the reigning champion Weili Zhang. Whenever the matchup happens, she expects it to be a beautiful display of martial arts.

Namajunas discussed this compelling strawweight matchup in a recent interview with MMA Junkie. She says she believes that’s what’s next for her, but concedes that it’s far from official just yet.

“I mean, I would think [that’s next]. We haven’t really talked about it yet, but that’s definitely the plan,” Namajunas said. “… That was kind of the plan going into it. I just have to get this nose fixed first. I don’t know what the recovery time is or whatever.”

Namajunas then delved into the matchup itself. She says she’s been keeping an eye on Zhang since before she won the title, back when she defeated Tecia Torres, and sees her as a fellow martial arts master.

“Ever since I saw her fight Tecia (Torres), I’ve been scouting her out a little bit,” Namajunas said. “I just think it’s gonna be a beautiful display of martial arts. She’s a master; I’m a master. It’s gonna be really cool. …

“I would love to fight her. She’s awesome. She’s really technical, really strong, just overall a master. That’s something that really interests me a lot.”

Namajunas fought at last weekend’s UFC 251 event in Abu Dhabi, where she avenged an infamous KO loss to Jessica Andrade with a hard-fought split decision win in their rematch. She says she’s proud of the way she performed in that fight, particularly considering the fact that Andrade had clearly levelled up her skills.

“I loved it, yeah. I loved it even more considering the improvement Andrade made. I was happy with the level of prepared I was,” Namajunas said. “… Going into the third, I knew she was gonna come out a little desperate. Anticipating that was like, ‘Ooh, gotta be extra sharp.’ Obviously I got caught, but overall I was just so proud of myself.”

Do you think Rose Namajunas will be the woman to dethrone Weili Zhang?