Rose Namajunas didn’t know if she wanted to ever fight again after her KO loss to Jessica Andrade, in which she was slammed on her head and lost her strawweight belt.
Namajunas (8-4) also revealed she turned down a fight against Zhang Weili, who will instead take on Joanna Jedrzejcyk this weekend at UFC 248. Talking on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast, Namajunas explained the tough place she found herself in after the loss to Andrade.
“I think everyone else felt the same way, too,” Namajunas said. “I was even offered Weili at the time, but I just – at the time I was still dealing with a lot of my own (things), just getting my head right, and I hired a mental coach that’s helping me do a lot of different things. And so there was a lot of work that needed to be done. (Transcription via MMA Junkie)
“I wasn’t ready for that just yet. I didn’t even really know if I wanted to fight at that time anymore, just because I wanted to make sure that this is something that I wanted to do and I wasn’t just like, ‘Let’s have another fight just because I’m good at it.’”
The fashion that she lost in was a big concern to Namajunas. Fearful that she could have been paralyzed after being dropped on her neck due to a pre-existing neck fracture, Namajunas said she is just grateful she didn’t come out of the fight any worse off.
“I got dropped on my head – I could have been paralyzed. It’s like, ‘Well, I wasn’t paralyzed, so why should I be paralyzed in fear if it didn’t happen?’” Namajunas said. “I should celebrate the fact that I’m walking around and it’s a miracle that my neck feels better than it’s ever felt in the past few years. Prior to that happening, I had a fracture in my neck, so it was hurting a lot – and after that, I feel great.”
Instead of the title fight, Namajunas has elected to return at UFC 249 in an attempt to extract some revenge on Andrade, with the two former champions meeting in a rematch.