Reigning UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas may believe she got the last word in her “better dead than red” approach to UFC 261, where she fought — and finished — former 115-pound titleholder Zhang Weili.
“Thug” may end up facing off against another Chinese opponent if No. 3-ranked Yan Xiaonan can turn away ex-champ Carla Esparza in the UFC Vegas 27 co-main event this Sat. night (May 22, 2021) inside APEX in Las Vegas.
“I don’t like that, I don’t think she should bring politics into sports,” Yan told South China Morning Post. “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.”
Namajunas detailed her family’s struggle under communism as a way to motivate her to fight Zhang at UFC 261, though as you might imagine, the remarks didn’t sit well with Weili — though Namajunas insists “Magnum” was being forced to complain.
Not sure that proposed friendship is gonna work out.
As for Yan (13-1, 1 NC), who turns 32 in just a few weeks, she made her Octagon debut back in late 2017 and has since racked up seven straight wins, including last November’s unanimous decision victory over Claudia Gadelha.