Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas believes she won the title contest against Carla Esparza at UFC 274.
In one of the more slow-paced fights of the night, Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas to take home the strawweight title. While the bout itself felt like a long dragged-out affair with little to no significant moments, Namajunas has defended her performance and insisted that she is an exciting athlete to watch.
During the post-fight press conference, ‘Thug’ Rose claimed that she won the rematch against Esparza and believes herself to be the rightful owner of the UFC gold.
“I won that fight. I stuck with the strategy. I felt like as if I landed more shots. I even took her down. None of her takedowns were significant or (had) any control time,” Namajunas said.
“She hit me with, I’d say, one good punch. And then, maybe another time, her forearm clashed into my nose at some point. I felt like I did the damage, I controlled the fight, and I’m proud of myself because I stuck to my strategy, ‘cause I know that in all of Carla’s fights, she just baits people in, and she tries to get people to attack her.
“I’ve been in slugfests before. I’ve gotten my nose broken, I’ve stood there and shed blood in the Octagon, so it’s, like, I stuck to the strategy. She didn’t really have any offense, she was whiffing at air the whole time. So, I thought I won.” (h/t Bloody Elbow)
Namajunas speculated whether the judges had a bias toward seeing a slugfest instead of a strategic affair.
“There were moments when 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.
“That’s the decision I made in the moment, but I am an exciting fighter, I’m a finisher, I won the highest finishing rate. So I don’t think that I was getting the boos, I’m pretty sure that was Carla.”