- Rose Namajunas is convinced that she got the better of Carla Esparza in their rematch at UFC 274
- “Thug” confirmed that she will push for a rematch
The main card of UFC 274 did not fail to deliver with Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler both scoring a sensational finish. However, the title bout between strawweight rivals Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza didn’t live up to the hype. Still, only one woman will prevail and for the second time around, Esparza won.
— MiddleEasy (@MiddleEasy) May 8, 2022
Ultimately, the match was so uneventful that it made it hard to determine who beat who. However, Namajunas is confident she won the fight.
It should be “And still”
Speaking to reporters in her post-fight press conference, Namajunas insisted that she has been the more effective fighter and did most of the damage throughout the fight. “Thug” even reckoned that Esparza had her moments but ultimately, she was the one who was scoring.
“I won that fight,” Namajunas said in her post-fight presser. “I stuck to the strategy. I felt as if I landed more shots. I even took her down. None of her takedowns were significant or with any control time. I’d say she hit me with one good punch. … I felt like I did the damage. I controlled the fight. I’m proud of myself because I stuck to my strategy. I know that in all of Carla’s fights she just baits people in, and she tries to get people to attack her. I’ve been in slugfests before. I’ve gotten my nose broken. I’ve stood there and shed blood in the octagon. I stuck to the strategy, and she didn’t really have any offense. She was whiffing at air the whole time. So, I thought I won.”
“I knew I was scoring,” she assessed. “I knew I was touching her,” said Namajunas, who chalked up some poor form to a slippery octagon. “There were times that I was missing, but I don’t know. I felt like I was scoring.”
A lesson to learn
For a champion like Namajunas, losing the throne is truly a hard thing to swallow. On the flip side, “Thug” knows there’s really nothing she can do right now but to learn from it.
“I’m really still trying to process this because I’m not trying to be salty or anything,” the former champion said. “I feel like there’s something to be learned from each loss. I’ve still got to ruminate over this. I hate sounding like this. I hate sounding salty. I lost, you know what I mean? Like, f*ck. But at the same time, it’s just what makes sense to me right now.”
Rematch for sure
Despite losing twice to Esparza, Namajunas is positive their rivalry is far from over. As early as now, the 29-year-old is already eyeing for a trilogy fight.
“I would do a rematch,” she declared. “I felt like I was stronger everywhere, so … I don’t know. Not sure. I would take a rematch.”
It is yet to be known whether the UFC will hand Namajunas an instant rematch. Until then, Esparza will savor every moment of being the women’s strawweight champion once again.