Rose Namajunas was shook up after Conor McGregor and his team attacked the bus she and several other fighters were on Thursday afternoon after UFC 223 media day, but she will remain on Saturday’s card.
The UFC strawweight champion has decided not to pull out of her upcoming rematch with former longtime titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk, which will serve as Namajunas’ first title defense, per MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.
Rose Namajunas has decided to stay on the card, I’m told. She is feeling better.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018
Helwani reported earlier Thursday that a handful of fighters on the bus were feeling “shaken up” after the incident. One of those fighters, it would later be revealed, was, of course, Namajunas.
I’m told some of the fighters who were on the van are “shaken up.” They are still at the arena and Dana White, as well as local authorities, are there now.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018
UFC president Dana White discussed the current state of Namajunas Thursday afternoon, prior to Helwani’s report that the champ will remain in the Jedrzejczyk rematch. White said “Thug” was nearly hit by an object thrown onto the bus by McGregor or his team and that she wasn’t feeling very good. (That has since changed, per Helwani’s above tweets.)
“Rose Namajunas apparently was almost hit,” White told reporters in Brooklyn, New York (via MMAjunkie). “She’s super upset right now and basically left and walked back to the hotel.”
McGregor made a surprise appearance at Barclays Center moments after the end of UFC 223 media day. He was likely in town to support his teammate, Artem Lobov, who, at the time, was scheduled to be on the card, but also witness the main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway, who fight for his lightweight title.
McGregor and a group of people were caught on video throwing various objects like bike racks and trolleys at a bus that was beginning to transport fighters from the arena to the host hotel. Someone in the group smashed the front window of the bus. UFC lightweight Michael Chiesa suffered a laceration on his face from broken glass. Per White, a UFC employee also suffered damage to his or her knuckle.
Namajunas knocked Jedrzejczyk out in the first round at UFC 217 last November in the biggest upset of 2017. An immediate rematch was set directly after that contest.
Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk are set to meet in the UFC 223 co-main event at Barclays Center.