Zhang Weili Says Rose Namajunas Turned Fans Against Her Which Affected Her Mentally

Published 10/08/2021, 2:30 AM EDT
SHENZHEN, CHINA – AUGUST 31: Zhang Weili of China prepares to fight Jessica Andrade of Brazil in their UFC strawweight championship bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre on August 31, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)|GettyImages


Former UFC strawweight queen Zhang Weili will have a shot at redemption as she takes on Rose Namajunas in a rematch at UFC 268 in November. The duo will clash at the prestigious Madison Square Garden Arena. They fought at UFC 261 previously, with Namajunas dethroning Weili and earning a first-round finish.

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However, Weili believes ‘Thug Rose’ made certain remarks ahead of the contest that turned the audience against her, causing them to boo her during the event.

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“The comments that Rose made, I think she was successful in making the audience boo me. But I think that’s my own problem because I should be concentrating on the fight and not the audience. I can’t control who the audience likes. So I’m becoming more focused on my own fight,” said Weili on The MMA Hour.

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“In my mind, I think that, yes, those comments crossed the line because I think all the audience, all the fighters, we all come together in the UFC because we all share the passion of the MMA sport,” she added.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 07: Zhang Weili of China prepares to fight Joanna Jedrzejczyk of Poland in their UFC strawweight championship fight during the UFC 248 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“I thought it was just kind of trash talk. It really didn’t affect me. But when I went out in the stadium and got booed, I think Rose wanted to use those comments to make the audience boo me,” she said further on the topic.

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Can Zhang Weili level the score with Rose Namajunas

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Weili, despite her last loss, remains one of the best fighters in the entire UFC roster. She certainly has all the tools to regain her throne and level the scores with the reigning champion. However, ‘Magnum‘ will need to be on her toes to get one back against Namajunas, as ‘Thug Rose’ is as tough as nails.

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Apr 24, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Rose Namajunas (Blue Gloves) kicks Zhang Weili (Red Gloves) for a TKO during UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

She will know firsthand that any mistake can cause a defeat for her against a skilled fighter like Namajunas. With such formidable fighters set to do battle, fans will be in for a treat when the Octagon door closes in November.

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Apratim Banerjee

1260 articles

Apratim Banerjee is a senior UFC author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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