Rose Namajuans Reveals that the UFC Originally Offered her Strawweight Title Fight
UFC 248 will feature a co-main event strawweight championship fight between a champion in Zhang Weili and a former champion in Joanna Jedrzejczyk. However, the title fight matchup between the ladies wasn’t always the UFC’s initial plan. According to former champion Rose Namajunas, the fight against Weili was originally planned to be hers. However, Namajunas turned down the title fight to focus on her mental clarity.
The Adversity Faced by Thug Rose
It’s no secret; Thug Rose has experienced numerous obstacles and adversity in her mixed martial arts career. First, Conor McGregor attacked a bus that Khabib Nurmagomedov was on during UFC 223. Unfortunately, Conor ended up attacking Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa, injuring them, and causing them to be removed from the card. While Namajunas wasn’t physically hurt, the event took a toll on her emotionally.
Next, Rose defended her UFC strawweight championship against Jessica Andrade at UFC 237. During the fight, Namajunas was clearly the more technical fighter. Her trademark crisp movement and clean striking seemed like it would propel her to an easy victory. But, Andrade was able to grab hold of Rose and slam her on her neck causing an instant KO.
— UFC (@ufc) May 12, 2019
Namajunas Reveals the UFC’s Original Plans for Her
Recently, Namajunas made an appearance on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. During the conversation, she revealed that she was originally offered the title shot against Zhang. However, she declined the bout due to not being ready to step inside the octagon again yet.
“I was even offered Weili at the time, but I just – at the time I was still dealing with a lot of my own (things), just getting my head right, and I hired a mental coach that’s helping me do a lot of different things. And so there was a lot of work that needed to be done.
“I wasn’t ready for that just yet. I didn’t even really know if I wanted to fight at that time anymore, just because I wanted to make sure that this is something that I wanted to do and I wasn’t just like, ‘Let’s have another fight just because I’m good at it,” finished rose
The Return of Rose
Fans will be excited when “Thug” Rose finally makes her way back to the cage. After all, she’s one of the most well-rounded fighters that the sport has ever seen.
Namajunas is set to return to action at UFC 249 in a rematch against Andrade. The card takes place on April 18th, and will be available via ESPN+ and PPV.