Recently, former strawweight champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas made headlines for her comments regarding her upcoming bout against current champ Weili Zhang. Namajunas expressed that her fight against Zhang is bigger than just an MMA fight. Indeed, it will be a symbolic representation of the fight against communism as a whole, she said. With some of her Lithuanian ancestors enduring significant hardships that she attributes to communism, Namajunas believes the fight against Zhang, a proud native of China, was destined to happen.
After the comments garnered widespread attention, many of which of the negative variety, Namajunas doubled down on her remarks in a follow-up interview. She also took the time to reiterate that they were not made directly at Zhang and that she has nothing against her upcoming opponent personally. Some publicized comments from Weili Zhang’s coach Ruben Payan Jr. alluded to the Zhang camp dismissing Namajunas’ comments and paying them no attention at all as they prepare for the UFC 261 title fight.
Weili Zhang Completely Dismisses Namajunas’ Comments As A “Joke”
During a recent Zoom call, Zhang was asked directly about Namajunas’ comments. Based on her response, the strawweight champion appears to think Namajunas was just making a funny.
“I saw them then I totally ignored them…” Zhang said of Namajunas’ comments. “I believe as an athlete you have to focus on yourself, and those kinds of comments make no sense. I think it’s a joke.”
At first glance, it appears that Zhang is attributing a dark sense of humor to Namajunas for making real knee-slapping one-liners such as “better dead than red.” The other interpretation of Zhang’s comments is that she believes Namajunas comments to be a joke as in, ‘senseless’ or ’embarassing.’ This is an interpretation that her previous sentence supports.
It’s hard to know for sure if Zhang meant comedic joke or joke as in Namajunas embarrassing herself, but you can bet that this issue will be addressed multiple times throughout the upcoming UFC 261 media appearances, including Thursday’s pre-event press conference when both women share the stage together in what could be a very tense meeting.
To be sure, we have not heard the last of this issue; and when more thoughts are shared on the matter by either party, you’ll be able to get the fully skinny right here on MMANews.com!
What are your thoughts on Weili Zhang saying Rose Namajunas’ remarks about communism were a “joke?”