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“I won that fight” – Rose Namajunas slams judges scoring in controversial UFC 274 loss

Rose Namajunas

Rose Namajunas doesn’t believe she deserved to lose her belt.

Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza is one fight that’s better off being forgotten. Joe Rogan even said, “This is the most uneventful two rounds ever,” of the first two.

Namajunas accepts that it may not have been her most exciting fight but she is confident that she deserved the win.

“I won that fight,” said Namajunas.

“I stuck to the strategy. I felt as if I landed more shots. I even took her down. None of her takedowns were significant or any control time.

“She hit me with, I’d say one good punch and maybe another time her forearm clashed into my nose at some point when we were both standing up, but other than that, maybe a couple low kicks but I didn’t feel them or anything.”

A boring fight

We’ve seen Namajunas as one of the top strikers in her division on many occasions but she admits she opted not to get into an all-out brawl against Esparza as she’s well aware of what her opponent could do in a slugfest.

“I felt like I did the damage, I controlled the fight, and I’m proud of myself because I stuck to the strategy.

“I know that in all of Carla’s fights she baits people in and tries to get people to attack her, so it’s like, ‘No.’

“I’ve been in slugfests before, I’ve gotten my nose broke, I’ve stood there and shed blood in the octagon, so I stuck to the strategy and she didn’t really have any offence. She was whiffing at air the whole time. So I thought I won.”

As much as Namajunas tried to hold back her thoughts, she felt strongly that she won the fight and felt the need to let that be known. She was also convinced that the boos from the audience weren’t directed at her.

“I’m really still trying to process this because I’m not trying to be salty or anything.

“I feel like there’s something to be learned from each loss. I feel like I could maybe… (have been) a little more offensive, but then every time I would step, my foot would slip. So I had to be a little safer.

“That’s a decision I made in that moment, but like I said, I’m an exciting fighter. I’m a finisher.

“I’ve got one of the highest finishing rates, so 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.”

Rose Namajunas on the judges’ scoring

Losing was surprising enough to Namajunas but when she heard that one judge had scored the fight 49-46 for Esparza, she couldn’t make sense of it.

“That’s surprising,” said Namajunas.

“I thought, okay, maybe, [but] I don’t know what you can even count. The low kicks maybe but the low kicks weren’t even hurting me. They really didn’t do anything. The takedown maybe. Maybe all her attempts but I stuffed all of those.

“I don’t know how many times she tried to grab me but really, I don’t get no credit for good defence?

“I think maybe the judges just wanted to see a slugfest like it was in previous fights or something so they weren’t appreciative of good strategy, but like I said, I’m always in exciting fights. I can’t have a strategic fight? I’ve got to f*ck up this face? No. F*ck that.”

As much as she respects her opponent, Namajunas clearly isn’t happy with how she lost her belt.

“Carla, I really respect what she does in there, but at the same time, only so much to the point where I don’t see how you become the champion like that but like I said, I hate sounding salty.”

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