Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Rose Namajunas Addresses Talks Of Immediate Rematch Against Zhang

Rose Namajunas has never been one to shy away from a rematch.

Newly crowned two-time UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is no stranger to the rematch. The first time she claimed strawweight gold over Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 217, she ran it back with the “Boogeywoman” in her first title defense at UFC 223, emerging victorious once again.

In her next defense, she came up short against Jéssica Andrade after being slammed viciously on her head. In her next bout, she earned retribution in the rematch, defeating Andrade by split decision. That means Rose Namajunas’ last four fights have been in sets of two. Will this trend continue with Zhang Weili following UFC 261?

At the UFC 261 press conference, Dana White stated that he was open to the idea of an immediate rematch between Zhang/Namajunas, stating that the fight made sense. Later in the conference, Namajunas was asked the same question. She could understand Zhang’s frustrations, but she also believes there was nothing lucky or questionable about the perfect head kick she landed that led to the close of the fight.

“We’ll talk about it,” Namajunas responded to the rematch possibility. “It’s understandable that she’s pretty upset about how quickly it went and everything like that, but that was perfect (timing) and everything like that. So I’d be open to it, and we’ll have to see.”

This was the first time anyone had ever defeated Zhang in the UFC. Heading into the fight, she was on an incredible 21-fight winning streak and was unbeaten in the promotion. As impressive as her résumé is, the main reason the rematch looks probable is due to there being no clear-cut #1 contender outside of Zhang. There is an upcoming bout between Yan Xiaonan (#3) and Carla Esparza (#4) coming up on May 22 that could determine the next contender, though. And should Esparza win, that could mean a different rematch for Namajunas than the one currently being discussed. This time, it wouldn’t be an immediate rematch but a delayed chance at retribution against the original strawweight champion who won the inaugural title against her seven years ago.

Do you think there should be an immediate rematch between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili?

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