Rose Namajunas osäker

Rose Namajunas fick ut det hon ville av matchen mot Carla Esparza

Ralph Nordahl

Rose Namajunas må inte ha besegrat Carla Esparza vid UFC 274 men hon är inte helt besviken över sin insats i rematchen heller.

Rose Namajunas fick ut det hon önskade av fighten mot Carla Esparza

Rose Namajunas förlorade via delat domslut mot Esparza och miste därmed sin stråviktstitel vid UFC 274 mer än 7 år efter att hon blivit avslutad av samma fighter vid viktlassens första titelmatch någonsin år 2014. Även om den första matchen var händelserik kan detta sannerligen inte sägas om returmatchen. Matchen har blivit kritiserad som en av de värsta titelmatcherna någonsin på grund av den passivitet som matchen bjöd på.

I en nylig intervju med The MMA Hour förklarade Namajunas att hon inte direkt ser matchen som den katastrof som många ansett den vara:

Just in a general sense, I will say it just basically had to do with, I have my three goals. My base-level goal is come out unscathed, like happy, healthy and safe. And then number two was obviously win the fight. And then … ultimately [number three] was not only win, but dominate and set myself apart from the rest of the division. That’s why I talked about it in all my interviews leading up to it.

I literally said I’ll take what I can get though, because ultimately, for this fight, all it matters is that I’m happy, healthy, and safe, because of just the patterns in which my career’s gone and all that stuff. That’s the main thing. And so, as far as all the things I wanted to get out of this, I got base-level everything that I wanted, as far as, I got what I wanted out of it. And it’s crazy — it might sound crazy to people, because I think they look at Carla as just Carla, you know? And it’s like, no, there were many moments to get in a lot of danger.

Kan ha haft en mer positiv uppfattning under matchen än vad domarna hade

Rose Namajunas tränare (och pojkvän) Pat Barry har sagt att deras plan var att lura Esparza att vara den mer aggressiva fightern och att kapitalisera på detta med kontringar. Detta beror på att Namajunas ofta förlorat i det förflutna när hon blivit för vårdslös och därför försökte hon i helgen hålla sig kall och disciplinerad. Namajunas är också stolt över att ha lyckats göra just detta:

I didn’t feel like I won, but I definitely didn’t feel like Carla won and I definitely didn’t feel like I lost.

It is kind of weird because usually when fights go the distance for me, like throughout the fight I’m thinking about, ‘OK, what are the judges seeing?’ I don’t think I was really thinking about that in this fight. I was thinking about my goals of, I wanted Carla to know, one, I wasn’t going to do what her corner wanted me to do, because they kept wanting me to come out of my game plan, and then every time I’d step forward, they’d be like, ‘Oh, there’s her foot — OK, now she’s going to do the thing, because she’s going to crack because everybody’s booing.’ That’s what basically [Esparza’s coach] said in the corner.

So I knew that they wanted me to get flustered by that and I was like, ‘No, I’m not. I’m not. I’m staying solid and myself. Like, I’m not going to let you control me. I’m controlling myself.’ So I guess I wasn’t really thinking about the judges. In my mind, I felt like I won the fight because of all that other stuff going on. It was more of like a psychological battle for me, as far as like, ‘No, I’m going to do what I want to do.’ But I get it.

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I was pretty solid, like, ‘Yeah, I won that.’ But thinking in retrospect, I don’t know, for sure people were seeing something else.

Höll tillbaka för mycket

Problemet var dock att Namajunas höll sig för disciplinerad. De 37 signifikiativa slag som hon fick in vid UFC 274 är med råge den minsta offensiv som Namajunas stått för i en femrondersmatch. Detta kom även att göra att domarna valde att ge Esparza segern då denna var ”något” mer villig att vara offensiv. Namajunas erkänner nu att hon höll tillbaka för mycket:

One thing that I think maybe was a mistake, as far as just my mentality, was throughout history I’ve always been an exciting fighter and I’ve always been very offensive, and it’s always been to the point where coaches have to coach me back. Like, usually they’ve got tell me to pull it back. So I was really trying to grow and evolve myself as a fighter by controlling that and not being like whatever. And so I did it too much, to the point where like now, because I think I trusted in my natural abilities for my offense, that I felt like as soon as I [wanted to turn it on], it’s going to come out, you know?

As opposed to continuing to, like, visualize that and really work on that as much. I put more priority — like, usually my training camps go like, I work on taking care of my defense, game-planning wise, and then as I get closer, I’m just winning and I’m just thinking about offense. Whereas I kind of did it sort of backwards this training camp, where it was like a mixture of my offense and defense, and then as I got closer, I just got paranoid about the defense, that I was like, ‘I’m putting all priority on that.’ And then it sort of just like, I was like, ‘But when I get there, I’m going to eat. Like, my body’s just going to take over.’

I was training the opportune moments to do those type of things, but the emphasis wasn’t on that, and I guess I kind of overly believed in my ability to do that without actually putting that effort in. So that’s maybe one mistake. But there’s all adjustments that you can make.

Är stolt över vad hon uppnått

Även om den håglösa insatsen troligtvis kommer förvisa Namajunas från titelmatcherna under en längre tid så anser fightern ändå att hon har mycket at vara stolt över då 29-åringen är tvåfaldig UFC-mästarinna:

You can never take away what I’ve done, you know? I am a champion and I’ll always be a champion.

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