Weili Zhang isn’t the only Chinese fighter on the roster who took offense to Rose Namajunas and her “better dead than red” comments. Yan Xiaonan recently spoke about the commentary made by Rose and voiced her opinions of how sports should unify people, not divide them.
Rose on Zhang Fight Motivations
Previously, Rose spoke about her Lithuanian heritage ahead of UFC 261. Furthermore, she spoke on how her upbringing affected her mindset against what she believes Weili represents. And while she kept saying that she has no issues with Weili personally, her statement contradicted that notion.
“So we watched ‘The Other Dream Team’ just to kind of get an overall sentiment of what we fight for. Just after watching that, it was just a huge reminder of like, yeah, it’s better dead than red, you know? I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Weili is red. That’s what she represents. It’s nothing personal against her, but that’s a huge motivating factor of why I fight, and I fight for freedom,” said Rose.
Xiaonan Speaks on Rose Namajunas Comments
Yan Xiaonan recently spoke with the South China Morning Post. Part of their conversation revolved around the comments made by Namajunas.
“I don’t like that, I don’t think she should bring politics into sports,” Yan said
“Sports is a way to unite people. What she did is separate people. I don’t like that. Everyone can have his or her own opinion. She can say what she wants, she can’t change anything.”
The comments sparked outrage from fans who believe Weili was being pre-judged. Especially from Brendan Schaub, who was vocal about how the words from Rose sound stupid, in his opinion.
After Rose re-captured the UFC women’s strawweight title, she claimed that she meant no harm with her choice of words.
Regardless of her intent, it’s clear that she offended a large group of Asian fighters.