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On Zhang’s side, there’s been nothing but respect and admiration shown to Namaju…

From Zhang’s side, there was nothing but respect and admiration for the Namajunas, the female strawweight champion hoping to befriend Rose after the fight. So it’s no surprise that his team don’t make many of Namajunas’ statements either. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Zhang’s strength and conditioning trainer Ruben Payan Jr. explained the situation. ⠀ ⠀ “Let me tell you the truth, and we will make a statement next week because the media will ask you,” he said. “To be honest with you, we didn’t pay attention. It was like the watching but not feeling it. This is the soap opera going on but we don’t really commit to it because we’re so focused on the fight. It wasn’t even a topic for the team. I would have loved that there was something more that I could say, but it’s like … non-emotional. There’s really nothing to say if you’re not really attached to it emotionally. “⠀” You just watch it happen and you watch people talk about it, “he continued.” And you see people get pissed off. And you see the comments but you’re not involved in it. kinda how it feels. Even though some of the comments are directed at her, there are so many untruths that it’s like we weren’t even going to lend it. Warning. That’s kind of how we feel. ⠀ ⠀ Payan Jr. rejected speculation that Zhang was some sort of Chinese Rocky IV experiment created and funded by government money. ⠀ ⠀ “I have known the team since the birth of the team,” he said. “So you go to infancy, to the birth of this one. So you know the struggles and who is involved, where the money is coming from. We know all of that, so when they say “The government is doing this” … uh, no. No, they are not. “⠀ ⠀ ⠀

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