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Rose Namajunas ‘got what I needed’ out of Carla Esparza rematch: ‘You don’t always have Mona Lisas’

2022 Austin Film Festival Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images

Rose Namajunas has come to terms with the result of her last fight.

At UFC 274 in May 2022, Namajunas suffered a second career defeat to Carla Esparza in the evening’s co-main event (watch highlights). The split decision loss for “Thug” saw her lose her UFC Strawweight title in the process.

Since then, Namajunas has become the center of a soon-to-release documentary about her life titled Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist. Initially in disbelief after her last setback, the former two-time titleholder is ready to move forward starting with her new film.

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“I definitely got what I needed out of that fight,” Namajunas told MMA Junkie. “I know that for the fans it was terrible (laughs). I definitely pride myself on being a very exciting fighter and I’ve always had exciting fights. But I realized that being a mixed martial artist, I am an artist and you don’t always have Mona Lisas, right? Sometimes you just have splotches and abstract art pieces. So, as much as it might have sucked for the fans, for myself, I got the bare minimum I needed out of whatever personal things that I was looking for, but yeah, I would have liked to obviously won and win in devastating, dominant fashion.

“Going forward, I feel pretty at peace with it,” she continued. “I mean, definitely being a martial artist and a competitor, that definitely has a little fire inside. I can still be a little salty sometimes when I think about it (laughs). But I’ve been through this before, I’ve been here and I know that that’s just what I needed. So, I’m fully grateful for everything.”

Despite taking virtually no damage in the Esparza sequel, Namajunas intends on continuing to take some time away from fighting before a 2023 return. In the meantime, the title will be on the line next weekend (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022) at UFC 281 when Esparza attempts to fend off another former champion, Zhang Weili, in Madison Square Garden.


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 281: “Adesanya vs. Pereira” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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