Last week, the UFC announced the possible strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Carla Esparza. According to Dana White, the pairing came about after Rose Namajunas turned down the offer that was originally extended to her.
“What I’m hearing is Rose does not want a title shot. Rose does not want to fight for the title,” White told BT Sport. “So we’re looking at the rankings and how it plays out, it would play out as Weili vs. Carla Esparza.”
At the time the news broke, it was Namajunas’ fiancé Pat Barry released a statement via ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
I asked Rose Namajunas’ coach/fiancé Pat Barry about this.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 16, 2020
“That is absolutely not true. We absolutely want the title fight.
Who would turn down a title fight? We just dont want to air this out publicly. If there was some confusion they can call us to clear it up." https://t.co/qoxmzLGyxk
But over the weekend, “Thug Rose” herself cleared the air in a video she uploaded to her YouTube channel. Here’s what she said (beginning at the 13:13 mark of the clip above):
Maybe there’s a misconception out there that I’m weak-minded or whatever. Or I can’t handle the pressures of being champion or whatever the f—k people say. That’s not true. That’s what I live for.
I’m the pressure cooker. And what better reason to remind me why I fight was some family member passing away. So I am super ready for all of that because that’s what I’m fighting for.
Namajunas last saw action at UFC 251 in July against Jessica Andrade in a rematch. She won by unanimous decision.