Rose Namajunas Talks Emotions After Defeating Zhang:” I Really Wanted To Do A Backflip”

Rose Namajunas discusses her emotions following her recent win over the former strawweight champ Weili Zhang.

Photo of Rose Namajunas via Instagram: @RoseNamajunas
Photo of Rose Namajunas via Instagram: @RoseNamajunas

Rose Namajunas was successful in her recent attempt to recapture strawweight gold, KOing Weili Zhang at UFC 261 in the first round.

Post Fight Emotions

In an interview with ESPN MMA’s Ariel Helwani, Namajunas discussed her emotions following the amazing victory. She stated that:

“I don’t know if I can put it into words. But I can tell you all the stuff I was thinking… I mean at that moment when I jumped that high I really wanted to do a backflip, but then I was like I’m gonna play it safe. Like I’ve always wanted to do that but then I’m like I already like struck gold. I’m just gonna be cool with this. In that moment, that’s what I was thinking.”

Fight Buildup

Rose also discussed her emotions in the buildup to the fight. Namajunas has struggled with the pressure of being a full time mixed martial artist in the past, but it seems her work and preparation with her coach, Trevor Wittman, is paying dividends for her confidence. She stated the following:

“It’s always nerve-racking. And it’s a little different each time. But this time, even though I was really confident in my preparation, how I was actually feeling in that moment, yeah I was a little shaky. I was a little shook up. But that’s also like everytime. But I was so confident in my preparation that I was like I have no excuse but to perform.”


Now that she has reclaimed her belt, Namajunas discussed her plans for the rest of 2021. She said that:

“Going into this fight that was something that I was hoping to do, is stay active. It’s just a matter of putting all the pieces together and making sure that I plan things out accordingly.”

One potential fight for Namajunas in 2021 is against a former opponent of hers, Carla Esparza. Esparza faces off against Xiaonan Yan, the winner of which will be in a prime position to start lobbying for a title shot. Namajunas had the following to say about her former foe:

“Yeah, I wanna watch that fight. I think Yan is a really great fighter as well and she’s really interesting. But Carla, if she can keep pulling off wins like she’s been doing. And stay consistent, and get through Yan. That’s something that seems to be jumping out to me the most.”



Published on April 28, 2021 at 10:37 am
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