Rose Namajunas has withdrawn from competing at UFC 249 after two of her relatives died as a result of COVID-19.
The never-ending twists-and-turns of UFC 249 threw yet another curveball when it was announced Namajunas would no longer compete against Jessica Andrade at UFC 249 on Saturday, April 18.
At the time of the report, Namajunas’ withdrawal was for “undisclosed reasons.” On Thursday, Namajunas’ manager, Brian Butler-Au, revealed the tragic cause of the former champion’s removal.
“Rose Namajunas withdrew from UFC 249 due to two deaths in the family related to the coronavirus,” Butler-Au wrote. “Her hopes are to return to the Octagon as soon as possible but for now we ask for people to respect their privacy during this time.”
Immediate release: @rosenamajunas withdrew from UFC 249 due to 2 deaths in the family related to the Coronavirus. Her hopes are to return to the Octagon as soon as possible but for now we ask for people to respect… https://t.co/nyLt7W5BIE— Brian Butler-Au (@BrianButler_Au) April 9, 2020
Those two deaths add to a global tally of nearly 100,000 confirmed deaths as total COVID-19 cases surpass 1.5 million, with more than 15,000 deaths and more than 450,000 positive cases just in the United States alone.
Namajunas has not fought since losing her strawweight title to Andrade last year. As for Andrade, a replacement is being sought but there’s no guarantee that she’ll remain on the card, which is reportedly set for Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, CA.
Our thoughts are with Namajunas and her family during these troubling times.