A UFC fighter said she will not apologize for anti-communist remarks she made ahead of a fight against a Chinese competitor.
“If you’re confused about any of my opinions, you can watch the documentary, and you could get a good idea as to what my family had to go through, the reason I’m in the United States today, the reason that I do mixed martial arts, all of that stuff,” strawweight contender Rose Namajunas said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show Wednesday, referring to sports documentary The Other Dream Team.
Namajunas’s family is originally from Lithuania and fled communism for the United States.
She watched the documentary, which focuses on the 1992 Lithuanian men’s national basketball team when they first competed as an independent nation in the Olympics following Soviet oppression, and used it as inspiration ahead of her fight against Zhang Weili later this month.
She had told a Lithuanian outlet that the documentary is a good reminder that “it’s better dead than red,” a common Cold War-era anti-communist message, and added that Zhang is “red” due to her being from communist China.
“The reason that I brought it up and that I referenced it is because the reporter suggested I had animosity toward past opponents, and that’s what maybe caused some motivation in those fights, and in this one, there’s no animosity, so maybe there’s a lack of motivation. But that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she explained Wednesday.
“I love Weili. I don’t know her. I know she wants to be friends and all that stuff. It would be great to get to know her, if we could, if it’s possible,” she added in her Wednesday interview.
Zhang is the UFC’s first and only Chinese champion. She will fight to defend her championship title against Namajunas on April 24.
Author : Emma Colton
Source : Washington Examiner : ‘Better dead than red’: UFC fighter won’t back down from anti-communist remarks made ahead of fight with Chinese competitor