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Rose Namajunas breaks silence on Dana White’s claim that she doesn’t want UFC title shot

Have you heard that former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas “doesn’t want a title shot” for her next fight?

Those words came out of UFC president Dana White’s mouth last week when he addressed the state of the title picture at 115 pounds. What’s been expected for months is a fight between champion Zhang Weili and Namajunas, but White threw a curveball when he questioned Namajunas’ desire to try and reclaim the belt.

In a live stream Sunday on her YouTube channel, Namajunas addressed the situation herself for the first time.

“I don’t know if you follow stuff that’s out there in the MMA news, but apparently there’s some confusion going on about my next fight and whatever,” Namajunas told her viewers. “So I don’t know. I’m not worried about any of that. I’m just ready to fight. I don’t know what’s going on, but I know that you guys are ready for me to fight, too.”

Namajunas’ coach and fiance, Pat Barry, initially stated last week that White’s claim was “absolutely not true.” Namajunas echoed that sentiment while also sharing that her grandfather recently passed away, which has served as a reminder for why she fights.

“Maybe there’s a misconception out there that I’m weak minded or whatever or, ‘I can’t handle the pressures of being champion,’ or whatever the (expletive) people say. That’s not true,” Namajunas said. “That’s what I live for. I’m the pressure cooker. What better reason to remind me why I fight than (my grandfather) passing away. I am super ready for all of that, because that’s what I am fighting for.”

Namajunas (9-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie strawweight rankings behind only Weili. In her last fight, Namajunas earned a hard-fought split decision to avenge a previous loss to Jessica Andrade in their title fight at UFC 251.

Namajunas has won four of her last five fights, including her title win and defense over Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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