Ahead of her second title defense, UFC strawweight queen Zhang Weili is unfazed by Rose Namajunas' controversial comments on communism.
In an interview with South China Morning Post, Zhang Weili responded to Namajunas' "better dead than red" comments. The champion claims to be focused on herself leading up to UFC 261.
“I saw them then I totally ignored them. 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,” said Zhang Weili.
Zhang Weili is not pondering over Rose Namajunas' statements about communism. Instead, Weili is focused on deciphering the former champion's game plan.
“I believe Rose will fight the same way she has always fought,” she said. “So the first round will see her moving, and feinting, and jabbing. She will keep moving around. She won’t stay in the same spot to trade with me, or to clinch with me. She will want to keep moving around."
In her last UFC outing, Zhang Weili delivered the greatest fight in the history of women's bouts in the UFC. The Chinese champion locked horns with Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event of UFC 248. Following a five-round war, Weili retained her title via split decision.
At UFC 261, Zhang Weili is ready to perform once again in front of a packed crowd at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
“I’m super excited that there will be a crowd,” said Zhang. “I love the feel from the crowd and all the reactions you get from the crowd. So I am really looking forward to the fight and to us putting on a show for the fans,” added Zhang Weili. (Transcription credits: SCMP)
What did Rose Namajunas actually say about Zhang Weili?
In a recent interview with Lithuanian National Radio and Television, Rose Namajunas revealed her outlook toward Zhang Weili. Namajunas' parents are Lithuanian who fled the country after enduring generational trauma under the communist regime. Coming into her fight against Weili, Rose Namajunas claims to represent the anti-communism ideology.
"I kinda want to educate my training partner Chico Camus on the Lithuanian struggle and like the history of it all. And we watched The Other Dream Team just to get the overall sentiment of what we fight for. After watching that, it was just a huge reminder of like, yeah it’s ‘better dead than red.' I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Weili is red."