Recently, former UFC straw weight champion Rose Namajunas came under fire for her politically-based comments about her upcoming opponent Weili Zhang. Now she goes into more detail about what she meant by her remarks.
It is not often that Namajunas is the subject of controversy, as she is widely regarded as a beloved fighter. However that changed earlier this week, when she was doing media ahead of her UFC 261 title fight opposite of Zhang.
The Lithuanian fighter was asked about her relationship with her heritage and what that meant for this fight. In response, she made some concerning remarks about Zhang being from China and living in a Communist country.
— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) April 11, 2021
Rose Namajunas Explains Her Comments
Naturally these were rather insensitive comments from Rose Namajunas and have resulted in some blowback from the community. So she has opened up about these remarks, and further explained what she meant in a recent interview.
She made it clear that she is not walking back what she said in any way, but that she has her own opinions on these types of issues and they were brought out of her with suggestive questioning from the interviewer. These opinions come based on her experiences as a Lithuanian, as well as a documentary that means a lot to her.
“I’m kind of unaware as far as people’s feelings about it, just because everybody has an opinion, and nobody has to share the same opinion as me. My opinions are based on my experiences, this isn’t something I looked up on YouTube,” Namajunas said.
“This is an actual reference to a documentary. If you’re confused about any of my opinions you can watch the documentary and you can get a good idea as to what my family had to go through, the reason that I’m in the United States today, the reason that I do mixed martial arts, all of that stuff. I’d probably have a really different life if it wasn’t for everything in that documentary and how Lithuanians had to struggle with Communism oppression.
“The reason that I brought it up and that I referenced it was because the reporter suggested that I had animosity towards past opponents, and that’s what maybe caused some motivation in those fights and that this one there’s no animosity and therefore maybe there’s a lack of motivation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Namajunas continued.
“Number one, I don’t have any animosity towards anybody. Obviously I’m not perfect, I’m a sinner, I definitely have emotions, but when I’m fighting there’s no emotions towards that person. It’s just an outward manifestation of my inner demons that I have to deal with every day.
“So that’s number one, no animosity towards anybody. This is not directed at Weili as a person, but at the same time I’m motivated for this fight more than ever. This is my history, this is where I come from, and these are the demons that I have to face every day,” Namajunas added.
Rose encouraged people to watch The Other Dream Team, which is the documentary about Lithuania that has influenced her so deeply. She said that she appreciates the freedom that she has in the United States, and is grateful for the fact that she does not have to worry about Communism.
What do you make of this response from Rose Namajunas? Was it still unwarranted for her to bring up politics ahead of this UFC 261 title fight with Weili Zhang?