Weili Zhang scolds Rose Namajunas for her performance against Carla Esparza at UFC 274: “She wanted to take care of her belt and didn’t want to fight hard”

By Harry Kettle - June 9, 2022

Weili Zhang has questioned Rose Namajunas’ performance against Carla Esparza in their UFC 274 title fight last month.

Rose Namajunas, Weili Zhang

If there’s one fighter Weili Zhang knows better than most, it’s Rose Namajunas. Across their two previous encounters, Namajunas was able to get the better of her foe with both a knockout win and a split decision triumph.

Some have disputed the result of the rematch but at this stage, Zhang is focused on the future – and more specifically, her match against Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 275 this weekend.

Ahead of that meeting, Zhang has taken the time to reflect on Namajunas’ heavily criticized loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 274.

“I feel like, definitely Rose was feeling a lot of pressure when she stepped into the Octagon,” Zhang said. “Definitely she wanted to take care of her belt and didn’t want to fight hard, wanted to fight more strategically and easily against Carla.

“But, as a champion, as an MMA fighter, you should not think about that. You should always, in the fight, [put] your everything into the Octagon, and fight your heart out. I don’t think Rose should fight with an attitude like [she did],” Zhang said.

Quotes via MMA News

The inactive nature of the fight was what seemed to rub fans the wrong way with neither Namajunas nor Esparza being willing to engage. Zhang, meanwhile, is known for being the kind of action fighter who is always willing to bring the heat regardless of the situation.

If Zhang is able to get past Joanna on Saturday night then Dana White has already confirmed she’ll battle Carla Esparza for the strap, setting up what could prove to be a thrilling series of fights in the next few years.

Do you agree with Weili Zhang’s analysis of Rose Namajunas’ UFC 274 performance and her loss?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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