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RIO DE JANEIRO – It sounds like Rose Namajunas’ future in MMA is uncertain after losing her strawweight title to Jessica Andrade on Saturday night at UFC 237.
Namajunas (8-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) suffered a stunning second-round knockout defeat courtesy of an Andrade (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) slam in the headlining bout. During her post-fight interview she made some curious statements about the loss. When she went backstage to speak on the post-fight show, she revealed thoughts about potentially calling it quits.
“Thug Rose” then arrived at the UFC 237 post-fight news conference and elaborated on her feelings. She did not dismiss the possibility of retirement.
“I just want to do something else with my life right now,” Namajunas told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Jeunesse Arena. “I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m not going to make any decisions right now. I don’t know. It’s just hard to keep having fun with this.”
In the octagon, Namajunas said losing the title relieved her of some pressure. She said she felt somewhat rushed getting back to competition for UFC 237, despite the fact she had a 13-month layoff following her win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 223 in April 2018.
“I felt a lot of pressure to get back in there,” Namajunas said. “The last fight prior to this one was a lot of emotional baggage and stuff, and then juggling a bunch of different things. I’m still super happy that I came here. It was just an honor to challenge myself against Andrade because she’s a beast and stuff.”
Namajunas said if she did exit the sport that she would have no regrets about how her career unfolded. Despite being just 26, she has already been in the UFC for nearly five years.
One thing Namajunas has repeatedly shown is that she’s an emotional fighter with obstacles to overcome before stepping in the cage. It was no different at UFC 237. On top of a tough opponent, she went into enemy territory for the bout on Brazilian soil.
Although she was knocked out, Namajunas was having her way in the fight with Andrade for the first five minutes. She said she still thinks she’s the superior athlete, but potential rematch comes down to whether she is compelled to do it, especially because her earnings from the event will allow her to complete a goal of paying off her house.
“I was definitely whipping her butt, there’s no doubt about that,” Namajunas said. “We’ll see if I’m still interested in this. I know I can beat her. I just don’t know.”
News | MMA Junkie