UFC 237: Rose Namajunas loses to Jessica Andrade, unsure about future

After a deadly slam from the Brazilian fighter derailed her title defense, UFC's youngest champion says she wants to do something different in life.

Rose Namajunas

USA's Rose Namajunas looks at her opponent, Brazilian fighter Jessica Andrade celebrating her victory during their women's strawweight title bout at the Ultimate Fighting Championship 237 event at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.   -  AFP

When Conor McGregor hurled a dolly at a bus in what we now know as a vengeful retort of sorts on Khabib Nurmagomedov, he did not realise the extent of collateral damage. Of the many people left traumatised by that attack was 26-year-old Rose Namajunas.

"Thug Rose,"" as she's called, took a 13-month break from fighting after the incident to get over psychological consequences of the attack. She was then pitted against Brazilian challenger Jessica Andrade to defend her strawweight title in a bout scheduled at Rio de Janeiro.

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Despite a decisive victory against former champion and previously undefeated fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk at Madison Square Garden in 2017, she went into this bout as the underdog.

That six of her seven wins came by submission and her conquests include names like Michelle Waterson, Paige Vanzant, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Tecia Torres speaks volumes about her abilities and talent.

Despite the odds backing up the young American and an impressive start to the bout, Andrade eventually got the better of her thanks to a deadly KO that gave her a win in the second round of the main event of UFC 237 on Saturday.

 

Having dominated the first round and half of the second, Namajunas seemed all set defend her title. However, in a matter of a few minutes, Andrade (20-6 MMA, 11-4 UFC)  picked up Namajunas (8-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and slammed her to the floor. The impact of that slam against the mat knocked Namajunas out instantly.

She fortunately came out of the fight with just a sore leg and a tight neck

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Namajunas also gained popularity as a meme template for her stone-cold stare that was captured on camera. The fighter though has had to fight mental battles ahead of getting back to the UFC.

In the post-match press conference, Namajunas made some cryptic comments leading to speculation over her possible retirement.

 

Among other things, she spoke about a sense of relief after losing the title.

"I felt a lot of pressure to get back in there. The last fight prior to this one was a lot of emotional baggage and (I have been) juggling a bunch of different things," she said.

Of the many things on her checklist was being able to pay off her home, which she has now managed to do.

"I just want to do something else in my life right now," the Denver native said.

Having dominated the first five minutes of the match, the question of a rematch was obvious.

"I was definitely whipping her butt. We'll see if I am interested in this (rematch). I know I can beat her (again). I just don't know," she added.