“Thug Rose” has begun preparations for her next title defense. The big question is: against who?
Rose Namajunas’ management company, Sucker Punch Entertainment, revealed the news in a recent Instagram post, saying, “So this is day one of camp” alongside a video of Namajunas working body shots with her head coach, Trevor Wittman.
Thus far we haven’t heard a whisper from UFC or press on who the women’s Strawweight champion will face in her first defense since defeating Zhang Weili in April 2021. The biggest fight would be an immediate Zhang rematch, but it would be hard to justify that considering Rose stopped her in little more than one minute the last time they fought (details here).
Right below Zhang at No. 2 in UFC’s rankings is Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but “Thug Rose” is 2-0 against her, and Joanna’s record since those two losses is 2-2.
Most likely from our point of view is No. 3-seeded Carla Esparza, who is riding a five-fight win streak. Her last win was an impressive technical knockout victory over No. 4-ranked Yan Xiaonan in a fight many felt was a title contender eliminator match.
Still, UFC hasn’t come out and said anything since the victory to confirm that sentiment.
Whatever the case, we’re sure Sucker Punch Entertainment is happy. Not only does it rep Namajunas ... the company also manages Zhang Weili and Esparza, too. So, however it goes (Jedrzejczyk excluded), it will be double dipping on agent fees.
We’ll let you know when Namajunas has a fight date and opponent as soon as word drops.