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Midnight Mania! Rose Namajunas credits weird ‘miracle’ slam knockout loss for fixed neck

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UFC 237: Namajunas v Andrade Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

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Rose Namajunas has really built her career off fighting the same opponents several times. Her last six fights came vs. three women, and her upcoming title defense this weekend (Sat. May 7, 2022) at UFC 274 opposite Carla Esparza is a rematch eight years in the making. Typically, when we talk of growth in MMA across a series of fights between the same two athletes, we’re talking about skill sets or strategic shifts. In the case of “Thug Rose,” however, the champion actually credits her 2019 title loss to Jessica Andrade for fixing her reoccurring neck problems.

For those that don’t remember, Andrade and Namajunas were in the midst of an absolute scrap when Namajunas tried to counter a takedown attempt with a kimura. Andrade, the Brazilian piledriver, lifted her into the air and slammed her directly onto the back of her head, separating “Thug Rose” from her consciousness and the UFC title in a single moment.

That’s also the moment Namajunas labels a miracle, as the slam healed her neck! Speaking on her past scraps, Namajunas explained further on “Morning Kombat.”

“With Joanna, I would say even though I had been in a five-round fight before that, the rematch with her was the real first war that I had. I had to weather a little bit of damage. With Andrade, that was a complete total stripping away of any innocence,” Namajunas said (via CBS Sports). “I got slammed on my neck [in the first fight] and then I got my nose broken in the second fight. The first fight was so different from the second fight as far as I didn’t really sustain any damage even though I got KO’ed. Actually, the neck problems that I had went away after getting slammed on my neck, which is kind of weird and sort of a miracle for me.”

Namajunas is 3-0 since that slam, which includes her revenge victory over “Bate Estaca.” In that rematch, Namajunas’ nose was broken and needed surgery ... which ended up fixing her deviated septum, another prior injury!

“I came out of that fight unscathed, basically, whereas the second fight, totally different,” Namajunas said. “I had zero quit in me. I didn’t care if she broke my face, I was busted up or anything. I came out of that fight victorious, but I was damaged. It was a blessing in disguise as well.”

LIVE! Watch UFC 281 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE-DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to “The Fight Mecca,” Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., on Sat., Nov. 12, 2022, featuring two highly-anticipated championship showdowns. In UFC 281’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, will look to settle the score with former kickboxing foe and No. 5-seeded contender, Alex Pereira. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, intends to defend her newly-won title for the first time against former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Zhang Weili.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Four (?) Weeks Of Self-Promotion

So, here’s the update: I still have no opponent for May 28. I told my management let’s set a deadline at the end of the week to find out one way or another. Worst case, all names will carry over to the banner when I do finally get booked, which would most likely be in the fall after my June wedding ...

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