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Rose Namajunas ‘definitely thought’ she was done fighting before upcoming UFC Paris return

Rose Namajunas has gone on an emotional rollercoaster since her last fight.

UFC 274 in May 2022 marked Namajunas’ most recent appearance, dropping a split decision to Carla Esparza for the Strawweight title (watch highlights). Mixed martial arts (MMA) has been on the back burner for Namajunas, who has been featured in a documentary and competed in a grappling match while away (watch highlights).

Namajunas, 31, will change things up ahead of her return to action against Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris on Sept. 2, 2023. The bout will see “Thug” make her Flyweight debut, hoping to launch herself immediately into title contention with a win over the No. 2-ranked contender, Fiorot. However, Namajunas nearly didn’t intend on coming back at all.

“Yeah, I definitely thought I was done for a good amount of time,” Namajunas said on The MMA Hour. “There were a number of things, but the way I felt going into the locker room. I just didn’t feel aggressive and I don’t really want to hurt anybody. I was just like, ‘Oh, I guess I’m done.’ There was definitely a bunch of other factors that went into it.

“I think it was a spiritual thing that I just kind of questioned if I wanted to keep going,” she continued. “It wasn’t really part of a godly life. But then I came back around to like, no this is definitely what god is calling me to do. He kind of has special gifts for everybody, and some people are warriors and some people are preachers, you know. I’ve been gifted with the warrior spirit and something special. I know I don’t have a ton of time left, but I know he’s not finished with me in this chapter.”

Namajunas’ last win came in Nov. 2021, defeating Zhang Weili via a split decision in their UFC 268 title rematch. Aside from the new divisional landscape, Namajunas Fiorot match up will also be a change of pace in what will be only the second non-U.S. bout of her 16-fight career (11-5).

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