After a loss in her flyweight division debut, former strawweight titleholder ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas will stick to 125 for the time being.
Per a report from MMA Hoje, Namajunas will return to the Octagon on March 23 for a clash with fan-favorite fighter Amanda Ribas at UFC Vegas 88. Currently ranked No. 9 in both the strawweight and flyweight divisions, Ribas is coming off a third-round knockout of Luana Pinheiro in a 115-pound clash.
Ribas has alternated wins and losses dating back to a July 2020 win over Paige VanZant at UFC 251.
Rose Namajunas holds victories over some of the biggest names in women’s MMA history, including Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Jessica Andrade, and Zhang Weili on two separate occasions. She captured the UFC strawweight championship for the second time with a highlight-reel head kick KO just 78 seconds into her inaugural meeting with Weili in 2021.
She went on to successfully defend the title in an immediate rematch, but ‘Thug’ fell flat in a long-awaited rematch with Carla Esparza, surrendering the title via split decision in what many consider to be the worst title fight in UFC history.
Rose Namajunas Ready to Score Her First Flyweight Win
Ready for a new crop of opponents, Namajunas moved to flyweight in September, but once again came up short of seeing her hand raised against top-five-contender Manon Fiorot. However, Namajunas faced adversity throughout the 25-minute contest after suffering an injured finger in the opening round.
“Unfortunately in her last fight, she popped her finger in the very first round and was not able to get her groove going until a little too late,” Namajunas’ manager Brian Butler told MMA Junkie. “It did not deter her at all and she felt very confident that if she had all of her tools, she could have won that fight. And if Rose is confident and Rose’s mind is into it, I don’t think anybody is beating her.
“If Rose is on a mission and Rose wants to do something and she’s motivated for it, that’s a problem for everybody.”
Making her promotional debut as part of The Ultimate Fighter 20 cast, Namajunas has amassed an impressive 11-6 record, including two separate flyweight title reigns. When she returns to the Octagon in March, it will be the first time in her career that she attempts to bounce back from back-to-back losses.
Amanda Ribas is 7-3 under the UFC banner with notable wins against Mackenzie Dern, Virna Jandiroba, and Viviane Araujo.
Watch the full interview below: