“Thug” Rose Namajunas is ready to wear the champion’s crown again along with all the pressure that comes with it.
When Rose Namajunas lost the UFC strawweight championship to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237, she later likened the feeling to a weight being removed from her shoulders to paraphrase the former champion. The burden and responsibilities of champion status proved to be overwhelming for her at times, so naturally, there was a sense of relief when that pressure was lifted.
Rose Namajunas Ready To Be Champion Again
Rose Namajunas is still clearly one of the best strawweights in the world. And belt or no belt, her championship-caliber skill set grows more apparent every time she steps into the cage. That said, it was only inevitable that she would be in a position to fight for the title again unless she outright rejected the opportunity.
That is precisely what Dana White accused her of doing when the UFC was initially trying to put together a fight between Namajunas and the current champion, Zhang Weili. Namajunas and her team denied this and insisted they did want to fight Weili, which is what will happen tomorrow night at UFC 261.
So what changed between losing the title in 2019 to now being ready to compete for the belt again tomorrow night? Why is she more prepared to be a champion now than she was then?
“Because I’m more mature now, and I know what it can do for me and my family,” Namajunas responded to the above question in a recent interview with ESPN. “And I believe that I’m destined to be the best. I believe that I was given this gift to be the best. It doesn’t come natural to my personality, (but) it’s something that I feel as though that’s something that I’m destined to be…
“I think I was so afraid of it changing me and changing the things, and it ended up doing that. I made it this whole thing of ‘It doesn’t mean anything,’ but then I ended up making it mean way too much. And so that’s something that I want to conquer and I want to be in control of.”
First, Namajunas must be the first woman in the UFC to conquer Zhang Weili, which each of Weili’s victims can attest is no easy task.
UFC 261 takes place this Saturday, April 24, 2021 from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida with fans in full attendance for the first time in over a year.
Do you think Rose Namajunas becomes a champion again tomorrow night at UFC 261?