Suarez: I Can’t Imagine Fighting Like Namajunas Did In A Title Bout

Tatiana Suarez was not impressed with Rose Namajunas’ performance at UFC 274. There is a new strawweight champion in town, although she isn’t exactly new to being the champ. Carla Esparza was able to re-capture the gold at UFC 274 when she defeated Rose Namajunas for the second time in her career. Many were surprised…

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Tatiana Suarez was not impressed with Rose Namajunas’ performance at UFC 274.

There is a new strawweight champion in town, although she isn’t exactly new to being the champ. Carla Esparza was able to re-capture the gold at UFC 274 when she defeated Rose Namajunas for the second time in her career. Many were surprised by the way the fight went down including one woman who might be looking at a title shot herself soon, Tatiana Suarez.

“I think she (Namajunas) maybe got like, anxiety or something out there,” Suarez told The Schmo in an interview. “Did they tell her to pick it up during the fight? I just feel like there was no urgency. Like, I can’t imagine being in a world title fight and doing that little, and then at the end of the round, being like, ‘I won that round.’ I would not be confident. I’d be like, ‘Did I win that round, did I lose that round?’”

Namajunas lost to Esparza by split decision although she had come into the bout as the favorite. Namajunas was riding a three-fight winning streak that included winning the title and a hard-fought title defense against Zhang Weili. Now it appears that it will be Esparza who is on to face Weili after she recently defeated Joanna J?drzejczyk at UFC 275.

Suarez was barreling straight toward a title fight herself back in 2019 when she defeated Nina Nunes at UFC 238. Unfortunately for her, she was injured and has spent the last three years healing up.

Suarez was scheduled to face Roxanne Modafferi in her return in September for a flyweight bout but was injured again. She is hoping to return by the fall and with a few wins could possibly find herself back in the title picture. Suarez does in fact hold a win over the current champion Esparza.

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Carla Esparza On The Title Fight Against Zhang Weili:’I’m The Champion, and I Feel She Needs To Go On My Timeline’

Carla EsparzaUFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza doesn’t feel the need to rush into a title defense against Zhang Weili anytime soon. Weili looks to be the next title challenger in the division, as she is coming off a stunning spinning backfist KO over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275. he former champion is looking to reclaim what […]

Carla Esparza

UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza doesn’t feel the need to rush into a title defense against Zhang Weili anytime soon.

Weili looks to be the next title challenger in the division, as she is coming off a stunning spinning backfist KO over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275. he former champion is looking to reclaim what she lost to Rose Namjunas back at UFC 261.

Esparza won the title off of Rose Namajunas last month at UFC 274. It may have gone down as one of the most anticlimactic fights in championship history, but Esparza was able to claim victory that night and feels no need to jump into another fight anytime soon.

Carla Esparza feels like she should have that luxury as the champion, and that Weili should be fighting on her timeline, not what is best for Weili.

“I definitely don’t feel like I’m in a position where I should rush just because Weili wants a certain date,” Esparza said. “I’m not trying to go on her timeline. I’m the champion, and I feel she needs to go on my timeline.” (Transcribed by the New York Post)

The first title reign Esparza had, she felt as if she rushed into a few fights too quickly and ultimately led to her losing the belt. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake.

“That was honestly a big regret of mine, letting the pressure push me into jumping back so quickly after having gone through so much fighting [on] ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ ” she said. “That was my fifth fight in eight months. It’s really draining. That was a big regret of mine, not letting myself recover a little bit and jumping straight back into it because feeling pressured and wanting to make the UFC happy. But in the end, if I’m losing my title, then what was it all worth anyway?”

The fight will be made, but there is no timeline set in place just yet.

Brazilian Judge Presents Simple Solution For MMA Scoring

A Brazilian judge has a simple solution to fix MMA scoring, and it doesn’t require any changes to the current system or judging criteria. Sherdog.com recently discussed the topic of scoring with Guilherme Bravo, a Brazilian MMA judge who is also the author of “In The Judges’ Hands.” Bravo thinks there’s room in the current…

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A Brazilian judge has a simple solution to fix MMA scoring, and it doesn’t require any changes to the current system or judging criteria.

Sherdog.com recently discussed the topic of scoring with Guilherme Bravo, a Brazilian MMA judge who is also the author of “In The Judges’ Hands.” Bravo thinks there’s room in the current criteria to make scores more comprehensive, assuming other judges are willing to get on board.

“The 10-point-must system is perfect, I don’t see any need to change rules,” Bravo said. “The problem is not the rules system. The scores 10-10 and 10-8 are in the rules and must be used more.”

Judging in MMA is always a contentious topic, and cards such as the Holly Holm vs. Ketlen Vieira-headlined UFC Vegas 55 have only served to intensify the debate as of late.

The Brazilian judge specifically alluded to the recent Sterling vs. Yan and Namajunas vs. Esparza rematches to outline the advantages of his suggestion.

“The effective grappling of Sterling in the second round should be considered a 10-8, while the first round of Rose vs. Esparza [should be a] 10-10. If those rounds were scored [like that], there wouldn’t have been any controversy.”

Bravo used Sterling vs. Yan 2 as an example of a fight where judges should have utilized 10-8 scorecards. (Getty Images)

Namajunas vs. Esparza 2 drew controversy for perceived large periods of inactivity from both fighters, causing some to question whether 10-10 scorecards should have been utilized.

In the case of Sterling vs. Yan, Aljamain Sterling was able to take Yan’s back and control him on the ground for large periods in two different rounds but only received 10-9 scorecards from all three judges.

Recent controversial decisions have resulted in some calls for implementation of open scoring, where fighters’ corners are made aware of judges’ scores immediately after each round. Combate Global, Invicta FC, and Legacy Fighting Alliance have all experimented with this system, but Bravo doesn’t see it as a viable solution.

“I really don’t see any advantage in that,” Bravo told Sherdog.com. “What if judges award different scores? The corner must bring a calculator instead of giving instructions to his fighter during the minute he has between rounds? It really doesn’t make sense to me.”

Maintaining the current scoring system and judging criteria would certainly be the less disruptive option to limit controversial decisions, but it’s also reliant on more judges following Bravo’s advice.

What’s your opinion on Guilhereme Bravo’s comments? Should judges be more willing to use 10-10 and 10-8 scorecards in MMA?

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Zhang Weili Criticizes Rose Namajunas’ UFC 274 Display: ‘She Just Wanted To Take Care Of The Belt’

Zhang WeiliFormer undisputed UFC strawweight champion, Zhang Weili has criticized the performance of two-time opponent, Rose Namajunas during her UFC 274 title loss against Carla Esparza last month in Pheonix, Arizona – claiming the former only intended to “take care” of her title rather than putting in a performance which would retain it. Weili, a two-time […]

Zhang Weili

Former undisputed UFC strawweight champion, Zhang Weili has criticized the performance of two-time opponent, Rose Namajunas during her UFC 274 title loss against Carla Esparza last month in Pheonix, Arizona – claiming the former only intended to “take care” of her title rather than putting in a performance which would retain it.

Weili, a two-time opponent of Namajunas, suffered her lone UFC losses against the ONX Labs trainee, the first of which came in a shocking first round title loss against Namajunas – courtesy of a brutal high-kick knockout in April of last year.

Returning in an immediate undisputed championship rematch at UFC 268 in November, Weili suffered a more comprehensive unanimous decision loss to the two-time titleholder.

Set to return this weekend in an attempt to snap a two-fight skid, Hebei native, Weili welcomes former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk back to the Octagon for the first time since their momentous UFC 248 battle – as the pair engage in a clear-cut title-eliminator at 115lbs.

Sharing her thoughts on Namajunas’ criticized performance at UFC 274 in the ‘Copper State’, Weili claimed that the now-former champion only intended on taking care of her undisputed title – to her detriment.

“I feel like, definitely Rose (Namajunas) was feeling a lot of pressure when she stepped into the Octagon, Zhang Weili said through an interpreter during her media availability ahead of UFC 275 in Singapore. “Definitely, she wanted to take care of her belt and didn’t want to fight hard, wanted to fight more strategically and easily against Carla (Esparza).

“But, as a champion, as an MMA fighter, you should not think about that,” Zhang Weili said. “Tou should always, in the fight, (give) your everything into the Octagon, and fight your heart out. I don’t think Rose should fight with an attitude like (that).” 

Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk were both heralded for their UFC 248 performance

Weili’s most recent professional victory came in the form of her first and ultimately sole successful title defense against the aforenoted, Jedrzejczyk back in March 2020, defeating her upcoming opponent with a close, split decision victory in the consensus 2020 Fight of the Year.

Zhang Feels Namajunas Did Not Fight Like A True Champion At UFC 274

UFC women’s strawweight contender Zhang Weili has given her take on fellow former champion Rose Namajunas’ performance at UFC 274 last month. This weekend at UFC 275, Zhang will enter the Octagon for the first time since back-to-back losses to Namajunas in 2021. While the first, a head-kick knockout, saw the title ripped from her…

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UFC women’s strawweight contender Zhang Weili has given her take on fellow former champion Rose Namajunas’ performance at UFC 274 last month.

This weekend at UFC 275, Zhang will enter the Octagon for the first time since back-to-back losses to Namajunas in 2021. While the first, a head-kick knockout, saw the title ripped from her grasp, the rematch saw “Magnum” fall on the wrong side of a narrow split-decision verdict.

But as she prepares for an attempt to rebound in another rematch on Saturday, this time against Joanna J?drzejczyk, Zhang is in a position to secure another chance at regaining her place on the throne after just one win.

That opportunity has been granted to her after Namajunas was unseated by Carla Esparza at UFC 274 in what many have branded the worst title fight in modern UFC history.

Across five rounds, neither woman engaged on the feet. While the way that the bout played out was confusing, the encouragement from Namajunas’ corner to continue with the same tactics was perhaps most baffling.

Now, as she looks to capitalize on the opening granted to her by “Thug Rose,” Zhang has discussed what went wrong for her former opponent in Arizona. According to the Chinese star, Namajunas had the completely wrong attitude when the cage door closed.

“I feel like, definitely Rose was feeling a lot of pressure when she stepped into the Octagon,” said Zhang during her appearance at UFC 275 media day. “Definitely she wanted to take care of her belt and didn’t want to fight hard, wanted to fight more strategically and easily against Carla.

“But, as a champion, as an MMA fighter, you should not think about that. You should always, in the fight, (put) your everything into the Octagon, and fight your heart out. I don’t think Rose should fight with an attitude like (she did),” concluded Zhang.

While the Chinese contender has shared the cage with the likes of Namajunas, Tecia Torres, and Jéssica Andrade during her time in the UFC, she is yet to go toe-to-toe with newly-crowned strawweight queen Esparza. Should she leave Singapore with a second victory over J?drzejczyk this weekend, it stands to reason that will change.

From there, “Magnum” will target a second reign with the gold, which would likely lead to a third date with Namajunas down the line should the American rebound from her disappointing defeat at UFC 274.

Do you agree with Zhang Weili? Did Rose Namajunas fight with the wrong attitude at UFC 275?

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White Confirms J?drzejczyk/Weili Winner Gets Next Strawweight Title Shot

The highly anticipated rematch between former strawweight champions Joanna J?drzejczyk and Zhang Weili will have high stakes. J?drzejczyk and Weili will compete in a featured bout on the UFC 275 main card in Singapore this Saturday. The two former 115lb champions will square off in a rematch two years in the making after their instant…

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The highly anticipated rematch between former strawweight champions Joanna J?drzejczyk and Zhang Weili will have high stakes.

J?drzejczyk and Weili will compete in a featured bout on the UFC 275 main card in Singapore this Saturday. The two former 115lb champions will square off in a rematch two years in the making after their instant classic went to Weili via a split decision at UFC 248.

Both J?drzejczyk and Weili are looking to earn another shot at the strawweight throne against Carla Esparza, and they’ll get the opportunity to compete for it at UFC 275.

During a recent interview with MMA Underground, UFC President Dana White revealed what’s on the line with Jedrzejczyk vs. Weili 2.

“This would definitely be that whoever wins this will definitely fight Esparza for the title,” White said. (h/t BJ Penn)

Esparza earned the title over Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 via a split decision. After the fight was anything but fan-friendly, White hinted that fight fans aren’t clamoring for those two fighters to run it back for a third time.

J?drzejczyk defeated Esparza for the strawweight title back at UFC 185. She would go on to defend the title five times before suffering back-to-back losses to Namajunas.

Weili has also lost two fights to Namajunas but has yet to fight Esparza during her UFC career. She earned the title over then-champion Jéssica Andrade back in Aug. 2019 before successfully defending her title against J?drzejczyk.

While the J?drzejczyk/Weili rematch won’t be five rounds and won’t be for a title, it’ll have the feel of one with what’s on the line for both women.

How do you think Joanna J?drzejczyk, Zhang Weili match up with Carla Esparza?

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