The career and life of Rose Namajunas has taken an interesting turn since beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC Strawweight Title in 2017. Through all the ups and downs, she has managed to stand tall through it all. Now, she will look to work her way back up the ladder, her way.
Namajunas (8-4) is set to face off against Jessica Andrade at UFC 251 on “Fight Island” on July 11. It is a rematch of their last bout at UFC 237 in May 2019, when Namajnas was slammed on her head in round two, losing the UFC Strawweight Title in the process. It was a fight in which she was controlling a majority of until the surprise pickup by Andrade (20-7).
“Thug Rose” would end up discussing the fight to ESPN, and how she was feeling at the moment.
“My striking did feel really good, but I think just based off of the way that I felt – like maybe not just visually, like looking at it but comparatively and from the outside – but the way that I felt as a fighter, I felt the best when I fought Joanna the first time,” Namajunas stated, via MMA Junkie.
Following the first Joanna win, Namajuans fought her a second time in Brooklyn. While she beat Joanna via unanimous decision at UFC 223, the fight could have gone either way, according to some. Her mindset was also questioned following the Conor McGregor bus-dolly incident. With a love-hate relationship with MMA, it was unknown when we would see Namajunas again.
Namajunas was supposed to fight Andrade at UFC 249 but backed out as a result of family members passing away due to COVID-19. While the pandemic is still going on, the passion to compete still hasn’t escaped her mind. She expects the best version of Namajunas to date, something that will make her feel refreshed.
“Based on my training and based on just my mentality and where everything is kind of led up to this point, it’s definitely the makings of a spectacular performance and hopefully the best performance yet,” Namajunas went on to say. “I mean, my skill and my abilities and even just the control over myself has been the best it’s ever been this whole training camp. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to performing.”
This is officially just another fight for Namajuans, who is not into holding grudges to make this hostile. As far as who she would face next, UFC Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili would like to face Namajunas. It could very well be a fight to make, as Namajunas is ranked second in the UFC’s strawweight rankings, while Andrade is ranked first.
“Fight Island” takes place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main event of the card will be Kamaru Usman defending the UFC Welterweight Title against Gilbert Burns.