Monday, November 28, 2022

Rose Namajunas Makes Her Prediction For Carla Esparza Vs. Zhang Weili

Former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas feels Zhang Weili vs. Carla Esparza will be more competitive than most believe.

Namajunas lost the strawweight belt to Esparza at UFC 274 earlier this year. The fight wasn’t exactly entertaining and featured lackluster action from start to finish.

After earning a split decision win, Esparza will defend her title against Weili at UFC 281. At the time of this story’s publication, the betting odds are swayed in Weili’s favor, with not many fans and pundits giving Esparza a chance to win.

Namajunas feels Esparza isn’t getting enough credit for her skillset after their unusual five-round bout earlier this year.

Rose Namajunas “Leaning More Towards” Zhang Weili Against Carla Esparza

MMA Junkie

During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Namajunas gave her thoughts on the upcoming strawweight title matchup.

“I think a lot of people are definitely sleeping on Carla,” Namajunas said. “I think people are just going to assume that Weili’s gonna run her over and all this stuff, and rightfully so. Weili is obviously a machine, and she is a beast. … She definitely represented a very scary opponent that I was facing.

“I’m definitely leaning more toward Weili at this point, but it’s really hard for me to necessarily count Carla out,” Namajunas continued. “I hope that the fight isn’t anything like my fight with Carla last time. There’s either a chance that it will be kind of similar to that, like kind of boring where they’re both just point fighting. Or one person gets the other person to come out of their game plan in a devastating fashion and maybe finishes the other person. I’m hoping for it to be an exciting fight, though.”

Weili is looking to become a two-time strawweight champion after losing in back-to-back title fights to Namajunas. She knocked out Joanna Jędrzejczyk in her last fight at UFC 275.

Namajunas is also very familiar with Esparza, who she faced for the inaugural UFC strawweight title in 2014. Since then, she’s become one of the biggest female stars in the UFC.

Namajunas hasn’t fought since UFC 274 and the timeframe for her return is uncertain. In the meantime, she’s had modeling gigs and a new documentary on her career to keep her busy.

Namajunas will be keeping a close eye on Esparza vs. Weili as she works her way toward a comeback against the winner.

All quotes from MMA Junkie