Namajunas lost her strawweight title in one of the strangest UFC title fights in recent memory against Carla Esparza. The two strawweight pioneers failed to dish out a lot of output on the feet and ground throughout five rounds.
It was a difficult fight to score for the judges, who are often victims of harsh criticism from fans and pundits. However, Namajunas and Esparza made it nearly impossible to score the fight round-by-round decisively.
In her UFC 274 post-fight press conference, Namajunas gave insight into what her corner was telling her before the last championship round.
“The only thing [Trevor Wittman] was telling me was, ‘OK, now, we can start having some more fun and letting loose,” Namajunas said. “You’re four rounds up, and you can go out there and have some fun.”
Namajunas lost a split decision to Esparza to fall to 0-2 against her in her professional career. She lost to Esparza for the then-vacant strawweight title on The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.
It was a tough night at the office for Namajunas and Wittman. One fight after Namajunas’ loss, her teammate Justin Gaethje suffered a first-round submission defeat to Charles Oliveira in the main event with Wittman in his corner.
Namajunas has since apologized to her fans for her performance and seems motivated to work her way back to the strawweight title picture later this year.
What was your reaction to the unusual Rose Namajunas vs. Carla Esparza rematch at UFC 274?