30-year-old American woman of Lithuanian origin Rose Namajunas (11-5) over 3 months ago in a losing battle with Carla Esparza lost the UFC bantamweight world championship belt.
C. Esparza is now preparing to defend his title against Wei Zhang At UFC 281, many of the other top fighters in this weight class also know their other opponents, and Namajunas has yet to say when he will return to the cage. She does not even rule out the possibility that she can try herself in a higher weight category.
“Before the last fight, I knew that it didn’t matter if I won or lost, but I would take a little break from fighting. I had planned in advance to rest this summer. I think that in September I will be able to say exactly what awaits me in the future. Right now I’m just training lightly, but I’m not doing it regularly. Isis Verbeek, who just won an Invicta fight, was in town, so I got to train with her a bit. I’m moving a bit so I’m not just sitting on the couch, and I want to heal a little shoulder injury.
I don’t know exactly when I will fight again, but I have already decided that I want a grappling fight. I want to improve my grappling skills. When I get all the things in life sorted out, then I’ll start lifting weights more intensively, maybe I’ll grow more muscles, and then we’ll see what happens,” Namajunas told MMA Fighting.
The athlete was asked if she will build muscles in order to move to a higher weight category: “I don’t know what will happen. I will do everything step by step. The UFC has made all kinds of offers to me, but I need time now to not think about fights. When September comes, I will open all the offers and then I will evaluate which ones are the best. Like I said, I want a grappling fight in the near future. I want to learn the leg break act.”
In the higher weight category, she has been holding the championship belt for a long time Valentina Shevchenkowho is a good friend and training partner of R. Namajunas.
“I love Valentine. If she continues to fight like this, she will have to be placed next to Amanda Nunes in the discussion about the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time. I consider Valentina my friend, so it would have to be some kind of special circumstances for us to fight each other. In training, I have felt what Valentina is capable of, but I understand that fighting is completely different from training. From a personal point of view, such a fight would be difficult, but from the point of view of a representative of martial arts, I would obviously be interested in such a challenge. However, such a fight could only happen if the offer was very generous. Now my approach to fights with my teammates is a little different than before. I continue to get along well with some of my former rivals, but I have yet to fight a teammate. It would be emotionally difficult and I would have to seriously consider such an option,” said R. Namajunas.
The former champion also commented on one of her main rivals – Joanna Jedrzejczyk – the decision to end the career.
“Of course, I am grateful to Joanna for helping to popularize this sport. For a long time I aspired to match her and it motivated me to improve even faster. She helped take my career to the next level. Of course, there was no lack of antagonism between us. There were times when all I wanted to do was punch Joanna in the face, but now I just wish her happiness and the best. I hope she realizes that she has had an amazing career and has inspired so many people. Her decision didn’t really surprise me, she had accomplished so much in her career that she could have retired earlier, but I knew she was a warrior who loved fighting. Now I wish her to do the activity that will bring her joy”, – added R. Namajunas.