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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Rose Namajunas after losing second straight at UFC Paris?

UFC Paris blew the roof off Accor Arena this past weekend (Sat., Sept. 2, 2023) in Paris, France, leaving several fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Serghei Spivac, who was stopped via strikes by Ciryl Gane in the second round of the main event (see it again here).

And Thiago Moises, who was beat down by Benoit Saint-Denis in a pivotal Lightweight scrap (highlights). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Rose Namajunas.

Coming into her co-main event bout against Manon Fiorot, “Thug Rose” was looking for a new lease on her combat life after leaving the Strawweight division behind — where she enjoyed two separate short-lived title runs — in favor of trying her luck at Flyweight.

But, UFC matchmakers didn’t do her any favors by throwing her right into the fire against the No. 3-ranked fighter in the division; however, a two-time champion facing the cream of the crop isn’t new. But, from the onset, you could tell that Fiorot was going to enjoy a size advantage. For 15 minutes, the two ladies went back-and-forth, and even though she was busted open at one point in the fight because of an accidental clash of heads, Fiorot got the best of the former 115-pound champion, walking away with the unanimous decision.

Unfortunately for Namajunas, she was compromised right away after suffering a broken finger early in round one, preventing her from making a fist and delivering her right hand punches with much force. Whether or not the outcome would have been different we will never know, but “Thug Rose” is a gamer and fought through the pain for 15 minutes. And let’s not forget that she didn’t have her long-time head coach with her between rounds.

The loss was “Thug Rose’s” second in a row and coming into a new weight class with a loss severely put a damper on her championship hopes. Though she can still get there, the climb up the ladder will be a bit tougher now that she is in a hole.

As for what realistically could be next for the former UFC champion, that’s a bit tough to predict at the moment. At one time she contemplated retirement, and now that her venture into a new division didn’t pan out, there is no telling if those thoughts are once again haunting her head space.

If she does decide to stay at 125 pounds, a fight against Katlyn Chookagian sounds appealing. Chookagian is also coming off a loss to Fiorot, which happened back at UFC 280 in Oct. 2022, which snapped her four-fight win streak. “Thug Rose” will once again give up some size should that fight materialize, but now that she’s gotten a taste of just how big her foes will be, she can make the proper adjustments.

Indeed, a win over the No. 5-seeded fighter in the division would put her right back into the thick of it, but another loss will leave her at a crossroads in her combat career.

For complete UFC Paris results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

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