Namajunas: I'm challenge for VanZant people have been waiting for
When Rose Namajunas got the call to step in on short notice to face Paige VanZant in December, she wasn't surprised or unprepared for the exciting bout. In fact, she's much more ready for all the craziness that her career entails, since her TUF season run at the title.
"Mentally, I'm just so ready," she said recently, on "The MMA Hour."
"I'm more motivated than ever, and I'm really just enjoying this crazy ride."
Namajunas had anticipated that a fight with VanZant was soon-coming. "I think that we were going to be lined up either right after that fight or somewhere maybe one more fight after that," she continued, speaking of VanZant's originally scheduled fight with Joanne Calderwood.
"So to me, I view her as a high-level opponent even though there's a lot of criticism around saying she's kind of like brought up slowly and all that. I think it's a very natural progression the way that we've matched up right now."
VanZant's haters seem intent on pushing the silly notion that she's gotten favorable treatment because of her looks. While she may have certainly received extra attention and sponsorship opportunities because of her personality and features, VanZant has fought the best of the best throughout her young career, without delicate matchmaking.
Though Namajunas has confidence that she'll beat PVZ, she isn't interested in detracting from her opponent. "She's doing pretty good," Namajunas allowed.
"I think that she's being brought up at the rate that she needs to be brought up."
However, the former title challenger knows that she represents a step-up in competition for VanZant. "Obviously, this is a jump up in competition for her coming up," she asserted.
"So I think that's the test that everybody has been waiting for. I think she's been waiting for [it] as well. I'm more than willing to bring it to her."