Former UFC welterweight champion and top pound-for-pound fighter Kamaru Usman isn’t looking forward to the upcoming strawweight title fight between Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili at UFC 281.
“To this day, I still think that Rose, some of the things that she can do is amazing,” Usman said in a recent appearance on the JRE MMA Show (quotes via MMA News). “(Last fight was) not her best, obviously… I think she’s in a place where she’s made peace with it… I would love to see her get that one back.
“But they already announced that Carla’s fighting Zhang Weili, which is — I mean, that would be sad to watch. Let’s say Zhang Weili goes and takes the title from Carla, that would be sad to watch her walk around with the title when Rose has bested her twice.”
Namajunas and Esparza faced each other in a rematch at UFC 274 in May in an uneventful fight that ended with the latter getting the nod on the judges’ scorecards. “Thug Rose,” however, insisted she was the rightful winner because she “stuck to the strategy” and “controlled the fight.”
UFC 281 takes place on November 12 at Madison Square Garden, where Esparza vs. Zhang will serve as the co-headliner. The main event will feature a middleweight title fight between champion Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.