Rose Namajunas would like everyone to know that she does not regret the critical comments she made about communism before. The UFC strawweight contender has, on many occasions, spoken about how much her family has struggled against oppression from communists.
Namajunas is poised to get in the ring on April 24 in a fight against Zhang Weili, her Chinese contender.
The fighter is Lithuanian-American, and she has argued that her anti-communist sentiments have increased her motivation to win the bout.
Her family is from Lithuania, and she cites The Other Dream Team documentary as her inspiration. The video is based on the 1992 Lithuanian men's national basketball team.
The team got into the Barcelona Olympics. This was the first time Lithuania took part in the sporting event since getting its independence after the Soviet Union fell.
As far as the UFC fighter goes, the film is a sobering reminder that "it's better dead than red."
This popular anti-communist phrase was coined during the Cold War.
Namajumas considers her opponent Zhang a "red." She stated that freedom from communism is a huge motivation behind her career as a fighter.
While speaking about the upcoming fight, she said that she has "a lot to fight for in this fight."
She explained that what Weili represents was a reminder of her background, everywhere she has been, and her family, among other things.
Namajumas went on to explain that she also wanted to educate her training partner, Chico Camus, on the struggles Lithuania went through and the history behind these challenges:
"So we watched 'The Other Dream Team' just to get 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."
According to Namajuma, she did not think that it was a coincidence that she was fighting Weili, who "is red." "That's what she represents," she added.
Namajumas also wanted her opponent to understand that she did not have anything against her:
"It's nothing personal against her."
However, she insists it's a huge motivation for why she fights:
"And I fight for freedom, and I've got the Christ consciousness, I've got Lithuanian blood and I've got the American dream."
She declared that she was taking all these things with her to the fight.
Namajumas repeated her stand once more during her appearance on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show. She advised that anyone confused about her opinions could watch the documentary. It offers a great idea of what her family had to experience and why she is currently living in the United States.
She also claimed that the documentary could also help explain why she does mixed martial arts:
"I'd probably have a really different life if it wasn't for everything in that documentary, how Lithuanians had to struggle with communism oppression."
She explained that she felt the need to bring this up because the reporter suggested that she had something against her previous opponents and that this might have motivated those fights.
Namajumas said that there was no animosity regarding the upcoming bout against her Chinese contender. However, she explained that this does not mean she is not motivated to win:
"But that couldn't be further from the truth."
On multiple occasions, Namajumas explained that she has nothing personal against her opponent, Zhang. In fact, the two female fighters have the same manager.
As far as she is concerned, all her opponents are "red" to her in that they are the people standing in the way of her dream.