Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is open to jumping up in weight and fighting flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Rose Namajunas Open To Fighting Valentina Shevchenko
Namajunas was recently interviewed by MMA Fighting and discussed her potential next step in her mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Her last outing did not go the way she’d hoped. Namajunas had a three-fight win streak snapped and dropped the women’s strawweight title to Carla Esparza.
Namajunas was asked about potentially moving up to 125 pounds and challenging champion Valentina Shevchenko.
“Thug” said she considers Shevchenko to be a friend, but she’s never had a problem before fighting people she likes.
“I love Valentina,” Namajunas said. “In my opinion, and I always forget that Amanda Nunes is the women’s GOAT of MMA, but Valentina, if she keeps doing what she’s doing, you could make that case [for her] as well.
“I do consider myself to be Valentina’s friend, so in order for me to do that, we would have to be set up, not for life, but it would have to be for a very good reason for me to even want to step to her.
“She is amazing in all ways, and I have felt what she feels like in practice. I know a fight is a totally different thing, so that would be hard for me to say.
“Obviously, as a martial artist, that would definitely be very interesting. But, yeah, I don’t know yet. It would have to be [very lucrative]. I love Valentina. I consider her to be my friend.
“I’ve never had a problem with being cordial with people I’m going to fight. I’ve maintained friendships with people that I’ve fought, but I’ve never had an issue with fighting a teammate or anything like that.
“I have started to think a little bit differently about fighting at this point in my life. It would be difficult with the emotions and things like that, and I feel like I’m a different person right now.
“I would have to think about it.”
Shevchenko is one of the most dominant female mixed martial artists of all time. She’s currently on a nine-fight win streak inside of the Octagon.
Her reign as UFC women’s flyweight champion has seen her successfully defend the title seven times. After taking out all the top names at 125 pounds, an opponent the caliber of Namajunas would certainly be welcome.