What’s Next For ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas?

Photo Courtesy of Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas made her return to the UFC octagon where she successfully defended her title against Weili Zhang. This was a great fight where Namajunas showed her abilities both on the feet and on the ground. Putting on a clinic for her first title defense this go around. But this brought many to question what is next for Namajunas? She has beaten most of the big names in her division and has faced and beaten all of the divisions’ former champions besides Carla Esparza.

Namajunas made her way to the UFC in 2014 when she fought for a title on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter. She was ranked 7th on the show and would earn her spot to the final fight of the season where she faced Carla Esparza. Namajunas has gone on to have an excellent career in the UFC where she’s had two stints as champion.

Namajunas really has two options I think most fans would love to see. The first one I think that makes sense is another rematch with former Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Rose has beaten Jędrzejczyk twice already but Jędrzejczyk is one of the best Strawweights of all time. I think it’d be great to see a third fight.  Jędrzejczyk has been removed from the rankings at the current moment, but said she was waiting to face the winner of the Strawweight Championship at UFC 268. Namajunas won so I think they could definitely make this fight.

The other option for Namajunas in my opinion would be a rematch against Carla Esparza. Esparza is coming off a victory to Yan Xiaonan at UFC Fight Night: Font vs. Garbrandt in May of 2021. Esparza is on a five fight win streak and is often talked about as one of the best Strawweights of all time. Esparza Won the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship and also Won The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 in 2014.   Esparza lost the title to Jędrzejczyk in her next fight. This would be a great match between a current champion and a former champion. I think the fans would love to see it too. 

Dana White and the UFC matchmakers do a great job making fights. I think Namajunas with the excellent coaching of Trevor Wittman will definitely have a way longer reign than her first time as champion. She’s a truly inspirational fighter who believes they are the best then puts on dominant performances that prove she’s the best.  We will have to wait and see what is next!

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