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Tidigare UFC-mästarinnan var nära att lägga av – går nu ”läskig” flugviktsdebut

Rose Namajunas osäker UFC

Rose Namajunas har hittat en ny utmaning.

Rose Namajunas är taggad inför flugviktsdebuten i UFC

Det har snart gått 6 år sedan Rose Namajunas vann sin första UFC-titel i stråvikt vilket hon kom att upprepa år 2021. Hennes segrar i titelmatcherna kom mot den ditintills dominanta Joanna Jedrzejczyk och Weili Zhang och efter 10 år som proffs har Namajunas redan nu en resumé värdig UFC:s Hall of Fame.

Amerikanskan har dock inte fightats nu på över ett år efter att mist sin titel till Carla Esparza via delat domslut. Nu blickar Namajunas mot nya utmaningar när hon den 2 september är tänkt att debutera i flugviktsklassen mot toppfightern Manon Fiorot. En seger mot denna skulle kunna leda till ännu em titelmatch medan en förlust skulle kunna ta Namajunas ett steg närmare pensionering.

Namajunas sade följande via The MMA Hour:

Definitely after the Carla fight [at UFC 274], I think that was—win or lose—I was thinking about doing that anyways. One, my body is changing, I started to mature. Early on in my career I never really cut that much weight up until the last few years. I think maybe when I fought Michelle Waterson, that was when I actually started to really put on size. Each fight it’s just been a little bit more and more. Even though I got better at cutting, I also felt like, this can’t be healthy. As much as I got mentally better at it, I think physically, I feel like I’m way stronger now. I also made a little bit of effort to put on a little more size, to actually intentionally get a little bigger and do a little more lifting and stuff and eating.

Weili’s the champ now, so what, I fight her a third time? I don’t know, it’s just not every interesting. I’ve already fought Andrade and this and that and now she’s gone back down… Weili’s the champ, so then I could just beat her again, but I don’t know, to me it’s more than that. I want something that scares me. I want to face my fears. It’s just always been a part of the plan and yeah, I could keep doing the same old thing, but as soon as this game gets redundant, I can get bored really quick and that’s not good for nobody. So I need to keep it fresh and interesting.

Namajunas beräknar att hon brukar väga runt 135 lbs under matchdagen och att hennes storlek kommer vara ungefär densamma i flugvikt. Mest av allt byter Namajunas dock viktklass för att lämna sin comfort zone vilket amerikanskan ser som kritiskt för att utveckla sig än mer.

Hon pekar i synnerhet på sin andra match mot Jessica Andrade som ett tidigare exempel på detta och en av hennes mest minnesvärda ögonblick i karriären. Detta då hon efter tre brutala ronder fick en efterlängtad revansch via delat domslut.

Namajunas förklarade beslutet att möta Fiorot med följande:

I had gotten a lot of fight offers over the course of taking time off and that was the first time where I was like, ‘That sounds interesting. I thought about Paris and as much as I don’t like traveling I also don’t like a lot of other things that I also like equally. Of course, I love traveling. There’s so much to learn, there’s so much to see, and that’s just kind of like, ‘Lazy Rose doesn’t want to travel, or Comfortable Rose doesn’t want to travel,’ but all these things help me grow and they expand my horizons.

I had one of the best experiences going to Abu Dhabi, as much as I feared doing that. Nobody knew what was happening during COVID and all that stuff, it was like the most rewarding experience ever. Even though I smashed my nose, it was also one of the best things that happened ever. As much as I don’t like these things sometimes, I know that this is medicine for me, this is good for me.

Är imponerad av Manon Fiorot

Fiorot är obesegrad med 10 raka matcher sedan hon gjorde sin proffsdebut år 2018 vilket inkluderat fem raka segrar i oktagonen. Hon har där vunnit mot fighters som Katlyn Chookagian, Jennifer Maia, Mayra Bueno Silva och Tabatha Ricci och fransyskan siktar nu på att bärga sin första titelmatch.

Namajunas anser att motståndaren hittills imponerat enormt vilket motiverat henne stort inför mötet:

Overall, I just think Manon as an opponent is exciting too. She’s a true martial artist. She’s not just a fighter or an athlete. She’s all of those things, but I remember watching her, I think she came off of the Contender Series, ‘She’s pretty badass. She has some real striking skills.’

I like girls that can strike. I like girls that are overall MMA well-rounded, which she is, but definitely her karate background and her style and everything, even her little attitude, her whole swagger, that’s something that brings out the competitor in me and I love that.

Det återstår att se om Namajunas blir framgångsrik i sin comeback och flugviktsdebut.

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Ralph Nordahl

Ralph Nordahl, musiker och kuriosamaskin, gillar att grotta ner sig i nya saker. Har jobbat inom spridda branscher. Gillar helst att skriva, läsa och sjunga. MMA-fan sedan 2017. Har skrivit närmare 4800 artiklar om MMA sedan dess.

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