Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight champion Rose Namajunas has not competed since her knockout loss to Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 back in May 2019, a devastating setback that cost her the 115-pound strap.
And while she gets to rematch “Bate Estaca” at the UFC 251 pay-per-view (PPV) event this weekend in Abu Dhabi, the belt will not be up for grabs. That’s because Andrade was promptly smoked by current strawweight titleholder Weili Zhang.
Who is now in “Thug’s” crosshairs.
“I don’t see for her to fight anybody else until then,” Namajunas told MMA Fighting about facing Zhang. “Anything can happen but that’s what I see happening. I think she’s proven herself as a champion. I always said anybody who can beat Joanna is worthy of the belt and is somebody I want to fight.”
Namajunas knows a thing (or two) about beating Joanna. Her back-to-back wins over Jedrzejczyk from late 2017 and early 2018 put “Thug” among the top fighters in the world. Unfortunately it was short lived, thanks to a brutal slam by Andrade.
Not surprisingly, Namajunas will be looking to turn the tables on “Bate Estaca.”
“I always say that I’m a natural born finisher,” Namajunas said. “When I smell blood, I’m the best at that. I don’t need to force anything. I just need to be myself, stay disciplined for 15 minutes and the finish will present itself within that.”
To see who else is fighting at UFC 251 click here.