Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes used Rose Namajunas footage to inspire her team in the Champions League

Rose Namajunas (Left) and members of Chelsea women
Rose Namajunas (Left) and members of Chelsea women's team (Right)
Modified 05 May 2021

Emma Hayes has revealed that footage of Rose Namajunas repeating "I am the best" at UFC 261 inspired Chelsea Women to reach their first Champions League Final.

Chelsea made it to the final at the expense of Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. The Blues trailed 2-1 after the first leg but overturned the deficit at home and will now meet Barcelona on May 16.

Speaking to BT Sport, Emma Hayes said she showed her players a video of Rose Namajunas repeating "I am the best" before the 4-1 win over Bayern.

Rose won the UFC strawweight championship at UFC 261 by defeating former champ Zhang Weili. She knocked Weili out in the first round and repeated "I am the best" multiple times during the post-fight formalities.

Hayes said reminding ourselves we are the best gives the necessary mental boost. She said that stance testified to the way things unfolded for Rose Namajunas at UFC 261.

"I played them a video from a UFC star (Rose Namajunas)," Hayes said. "It was a minute's video before the game and she was talking to herself saying, 'I am the best'... She won the fight, and straight after the fight, the corner said to her, 'you were saying I am the best' and she said, 'yes I am the best'. That's what I said to the players before the game. Someone described us as the mentality monsters and we're the best and we're in this position because we deserve to be in it."

Rose Namajunas's UFC 261 win was a milestone event

Rose Namajunas beat Zhang Weili via a lead-leg head kick knockout in the first round and regained the strawweight title in the process. With the win, Namajunas became the first female fighter to win the UFC title twice in the same division.

Namajunas scored the fifth knockdown of her UFC career at UFC 261. It tied double champ Amanda Nunes' record for most knockdowns landed by a female fighter in the UFC.

The UFC's inaugural strawweight champion Carla Esparza is still an active fighter. She appears to be on a collision course with Rose Namajunas in current circumstances.

Esparza is the only former champion that Namajunas has not defeated. A win over the former would also see Namajunas join Nunes in defeating every former champion in her division's history.

Published 05 May 2021
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