MMA fighter Zhang Weili will defend her UFC strawweight title against former champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 261. Namajunas is being slammed for her criticism of Communism, something that came up during a chat with Lithuanian outlet LRT.
Namajunas' opponent is Zhang, a Chinese woman, and Lithuania has a somewhat sketchy history of being oppressed under the Soviet Union.
Namajunas said she is “better dead than red” and it made a few people mad, but oh well.
Here's the transcript of the interview:
The animosity and things like that, those can be very motivating factors in short moments, but in all actuality going into the fight there was, I was, maybe there was certain, um rivalries and things like that, but I always kept myself in control. I never really hated the person. I don’t hate Weili or anything like that, there’s nothing... um, you know, but I do feel as though... I have... I have a lot to fight for in this fight. And what she represents and um, you know, I was just, I was just trying to remind myself of, you know, all the—my background and everywhere that I come from and my family and everything like that. And I kind of wanted to educate my training partner Chico Camus on the Lithuanian struggle and just the history of it all. So we watched The Other Dream Team just to get like an overall sentiment of what we fight for. And so, just after watching that it’s just a huge reminder of yeah: better dead than red, you know. And I think, um, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Weili is red, you know, she’s a, that’s what she represents. It’s nothing personal against her, but that’s a huge motivating factor of why I fight and I fight for freedom and I’ve got the Christ consciousness, I’ve got Lithuanian blood and I’ve got the American dream and all of those things I’m taking with me into this fight.