Rose Namajunas Content With UFC 274 Loss To Carla Esparza: “I Got What I Wanted”

'Thug' Rose claimed to have got what she wanted from her title fight against Carla Esparza

Rose Namajunas
Credit: Rose Namajunas, Carla Esparza (via Facebook)
  • Rose Namajunas believes her performance against Carla Esparza was not a disaster as she defended her motives
  • Her partner Pat Barry defended the game plan as well

In a night laden with thrilling matchups, UFC 274’s co-main event was the biggest disappointment. Rose Namajunas took on Carla Esparza for the UFC women’s strawweight championship. Many believed it to be a candidate for the worst title fight in the promotion’s history.

The former two-time queen has defended her performance and claimed that she walks away content.

Rose Namajunas content with loss to Esparza

After being on the receiving end of many fans’ criticism, former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas seems content with her second showing against Carla Esparza. The pair originally competed almost eight years ago when Esparza defeated Namajunas to be crowned the first-ever divisional champ.

While their first bout was exciting, their second contest lacked action for most of the five rounds. Both ladies were rebuked by the audience for refusing to engage with each other. Over the course of 25 minutes, fans witnessed little to no significant moments.

In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Rose Namajunas defended her performance as she claimed to be content with losing her title.

“Just in a general sense, I will say it just basically had to do with, I have my three goals”

“My base-level goal is come out unscathed, like happy, healthy and safe. And then number two was obviously win the fight. And then … ultimately [number three] was not only win, but dominate and set myself apart from the rest of the division. That’s why I talked about it in all my interviews leading up to it.

“I literally said I’ll take what I can get though, because ultimately, for this fight, all it matters is that I’m happy, healthy, and safe, because of just the patterns in which my career’s gone and all that stuff. That’s the main thing. And so, as far as all the things I wanted to get out of this, I got base-level everything that I wanted, as far as, I got what I wanted out of it. And it’s crazy — it might sound crazy to people, because I think they look at Carla as just Carla, you know? And it’s like, no, there were many moments to get in a lot of danger.”

Pat Barry defends game plan

‘Thug’ Rose has been in a long-term relationship with her coach and partner Pat Barry. During the same interview, Barry responded to the criticism and defended their game plan.

Barry stated that they wanted Esparza to be the aggressor and then catch her with a counterattack once she did. Namajunas made a note of her two outings with Jessica Andrade as she discussed the ups and downs of her journey.

“I didn’t feel like I won, but I definitely didn’t feel like Carla won and I definitely didn’t feel like I lost”

“It is kind of weird because usually when fights go the distance for me, like throughout the fight I’m thinking about, ‘OK, what are the judges seeing?’ I don’t think I was really thinking about that in this fight. I was thinking about my goals of, I wanted Carla to know, one, I wasn’t going to do what her corner wanted me to do, because they kept wanting me to come out of my game plan, and then every time I’d step forward, they’d be like, ‘Oh, there’s her foot — OK, now she’s going to do the thing, because she’s going to crack because everybody’s booing.’ That’s what basically [Esparza’s coach] said in the corner”

“I wasn’t really thinking about the judges. In my mind, I felt like I won the fight because of all that other stuff going on. It was more of like a psychological battle for me, as far as like, ‘No, I’m going to do what I want to do.’ But I get it.”

Although Rose has lost her UFC gold officially to the ‘Cookie Monster’, it’s clear she sees herself as the rightful champion of the UFC women’s strawweight division.

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