UFC president Dana White and Rose Namajunas are seemingly not on the same page.
Many in the combat sports world were shocked when on Wednesday, BT Sport made a social media post hyping up some of the big fights taking place in the UFC in 2021.
One of them which caught everyone’s attention was a women’s strawweight title fight between current champion Weili Zhang and former title-holder Carla Esparza.
🇺🇸 Holloway 𝕧 Kattar 🇺🇸
🇺🇸 Poirier 𝕧 McGregor 🇮🇪
🇬🇧 Edwards 𝕧 Chimaev 🇸🇪
🇵🇱 Blachowicz 𝕧 Adesanya 🇳🇿
🇰🇬 Shevchenko 𝕧 Andrade 🇧🇷
🇺🇸 Miocic 𝕧 Ngannou 🇨🇲
🇧🇷 Nunes 𝕧 Anderson 🇦🇺
🇦🇺 Volkanovski 𝕧 Ortega 🇺🇸
🇨🇳 Zhang 𝕧 Esparza 🇺🇸
Dana White has got some big plans for 2021.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 16, 2020
Of course, Rose Namajunas was expected to get the next crack at Zhang. However, as White would later reveal, it turns out the former champion wasn’t interested in a title shot.
“What I’m hearing is that Rose doesn’t want a title shot,” White told BT Sport. “Rose doesn’t want to fight for a title. I don’t think she did. She doesn’t want to fight for the title, so we’ll see how it all plays out.
“If we’re looking at rankings and how it plays out, it would play out Weili vs. Carla Esparza.”
Not according to Namajunas, however. She would post a GIF of “fake news” on her Instagram story soon after.
Meanwhile, coach and fiance Pat Barry refuted White’s comments as well in a statement.
“That is absolutely not true,” Barry told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “We absolutely want the title fight. Who would turn down a title fight? We just don’t want to air this out publicly. If there was some confusion, they can call us to clear it up.”
Past history would indicate that this is a case of a fighter not coming to terms with the contract the UFC is offering which usually results in White claiming they’re not interested in a title.
However, nothing is for sure and we’ll have to await more details in the coming days.
Namajunas is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jessica Andrade in their rematch at UFC 251 in July.