“This is the soap opera that’s happening,” Weili Zhang’s coach says they are unfazed by Rose Namajunas’s recent comments


“This is the soap opera that’s happening,” Weili Zhang’s coach says they are unfazed by Rose Namajunas’s recent comments

Weili Zhang's Team

The former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is going to face the champion Weili Zhang at the co-main event of UFC 261. Before this fight, Namajunas bring communism in their fight by her political remark ‘better dead than red’ for Weili Zhang.

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But in a recent interview with SCMP, Weili Zhang’s strength and conditioning coach said they are unfazed by Rose Namajunas’s comments. Ruben Payan Jr, says, “To be honest with you we haven’t been paying attention, It’s been like watching it but not feeling it.”

“This is the soap opera that’s happening but we’re not really engaging in it because we’re just so focused on the fight.”

He added, “It hasn’t even been a topic of the team. I wish there was something more that I could say but it’s non-emotional. There’s really nothing to say if you’re not really emotionally attached to it.”

“You’re just kind of watching things happen and you’re watching people talk about it, and you see people get upset about it. And you see the comments but you’re not involved in it. That’s kind of how it feels.”

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Payan Jr. continued, “Even though some of Rose Namajunas’ comments are directed towards Zhang, there’s so much non-truths to it that it’s like we’re not even going to pay attention to it. That’s kind of how we feel.”

Ruben Payan Jr. says Rose Namajunas’ comments made him chuckle

Weili Zhang and Ruben Payan Jr.
Weili Zhang and Ruben Payan Jr.

Ruben Payan Jr. works with some of the best Chinese fighters such as Weili Zhang, Yan Xiaonan, and Li Jingliang. He said some of Rose Namajunas’ comments made him chuckle.

Payang Jr. says, “I’ve known the team since the birth of the team, so you go to the infancy, the birth of it. So you know the struggles and who’s involved. Where the money comes from. We know all of that, so when they say ‘the government is doing this’ … Uh, no. No, they’re not.”

“If the story is ‘yes they are’ and that’s what you want to believe … I mean the hardest thing for people to do is accept they’re wrong, because of the narrative that has been played in movies and on media. And the truth of the matter is, no, you’re actually wrong.”

He continued, “And I think you should humble yourself and say maybe I shouldn’t jump to conclusions, and maybe I should talk to the person and listen and understand it’s been a lot of work for the team and every individual to get here.”

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“I lived there for so long and I understand what it feels like to be free and go live in China. To live in a communist bubble. Underneath all of that, the people are still chill. And I say that because I come in from the military and go into China. People underneath the layers of names and labels, they’re all the same.”

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