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New-look Rose Namajunas ‘lifting lots of weights,’ teases Shevchenko super fight

Move over “Bones,” there’s a new swole ex-champ in town.

UFC Fight Night Open Workouts Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC 115-pound champion Rose Namajunas has always been a long and lean strawweight, but that didn’t stop “Thug” from scoring multiple knockout finishes over the likes of Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang Weili.

But with her second loss to longtime rival Carla Esparza at UFC 274 last May, the 30 year-old Namajunas has opted to take a little time off from cage fighting so that she can work on her grappling while also packing on some muscle.

“The thing I do know for a fact — and I don’t know when exactly I might fight again — but I do know that I want to do a grappling match of some sort,” Namajunas told MMA Fighting. “I want to really rack up some experience in that department. Also, once I get my other things in order, my life stuff, I’ll be lifting lots of weights, and maybe put on a little more muscle, and just kind of see what happens from there.”

More muscle means more weight which could force Namajunas (11-5) to consider a trip north to the flyweight division. Considering her credentials at 115 pounds, it would not be outrageous to think “Thug” could follow this blueprint and land an immediate title shot against currently flyweight titleholder Valentina Shevchenko.

“I do consider myself to be Valentina’s friend, so in order for me to do that, we would have to be set up, not for life, but it would have to be for a very good reason for me to even want to step to her,” Namajunas continued. “She is amazing in all ways, and I have felt what she feels like in practice. I know a fight is a totally different thing, so that would be hard for me to say. Obviously, as a martial artist, that would definitely be very interesting. But, yeah, I don’t know yet. It would be difficult with the emotions and things like that, and I feel like I’m a different person right now. I would have to think about it.”

Shevchenko (23-3) is currently unbooked.

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