Phoenix, AZ – Minutes after dropping the UFC strawweight title to the new champion at UFC 274, Rose Namajunas spoke with reporters about how she felt about the fight.
“I won that fight. I stuck to the strategy. I felt like as if I landed the more shots I even took her down. None of her takedowns were significant or any control time. I mean she hit me with, I’d say, one good punch. Then maybe another time her forearm clashed into my nose at some point as we were both standing up, but other than that maybe a couple low kicks but I didn’t feel them or anything,” Namajunas told the media in her post-fight scrum on Saturday night.
Namajunas lost the title to Carla Esparza via split decision.
🗣 BY SPLIT DECISION!@CarlaEsparza1 is the NEW SW champion of the world 🏆
— UFC (@ufc) May 8, 2022
“So I felt like I did the damage, I controlled the fight. I’m proud of myself because I stuck to my strategy because I know that in all of Carla’s fights she just baits people in and she tries to get people to attack her.”
Namajunas made her case that Esparza had little to no offense in the fight along with the takedowns not being effective.
“I stuck to the strategy. She didn’t really have any offense she was whiffing at air the whole time. I thought I won. I’m really still trying to process this because I’m not trying to be salty or anything. I feel like there is something to be learned from each loss. There was moments where I wanted to capitalize a little bit more be a little more offensive in moments, but then every time I would step my foot would slip. So I had to be a little more safe,” Namajunas said.
The crowd booed from about halfway through the first round until the final horn in what ended up being the least exciting fight of the entire card.
“Like I said, I’m an exciting fighter. I’m a finisher I’ve got one of the highest finishing rates. I don’t think that I was getting the boos. I’m pretty sure that was Carla. Obviously I want to have exciting fights so that does kind of sting a little bit too,” said Namajunas.
Namajunas also made sure to point out that at times when she thought about counter attacking she would slip on the canvas calling it a “slippery canvas”.
“One little mistake against Carla and she’s just going to try and take you down the whole time. I don’t know. I thought I won that fight. I don’t know,” she said.
The logical question is what is next for the now former two-time UFC strawweight champion. With two losses to the current champion it’s tough to see her fighting for a title again any time soon, but Namajunas didn’t really feel that way.
“I would do a rematch. I feel like I was stronger everywhere. Not sure, but I would take the rematch.”
Namajunas did mention that her coach Trevor Wittman felt that she had won four rounds going into the fifth.
“He was telling me was we can start having some more fun. Letting loose, you’re four rounds up, and you can go out there and have some fun,” Namajunas said.
“It’s very frustrating, but at the same time there’s got to be some take away, some learning lesson. Some way I could get better from this. I’m just trying to process my own sh*t.”
Watch the full UFC 274 post-fight press scrum with Rose Namajunas above. More coverage from the event can be found below.