UFC star Rose Namajunas revealed that she considered retirement ahead of her match against Carla Esparza. She said she really wanted to retire even if she won.
Rose Namajunas is one of the most recognizable female mixed martial artists in the UFC. ‘Thug Rose’ is a former two-time UFC women’s strawweight champion and provided entertaining combat in the octagon.
However, Namajunas drew criticism during her match against Carla Esparza last year. She and Esparza performed quite poorly and seemed hesitant to hit each other. Namajunas eventually lost the match via a split decision and hasn’t appeared in the octagon since then.
After that loss, she was pretty quiet and was just focusing on her modeling gigs. She also sometimes competed in grappling matches. Now, the 31-year-old has made up her mind and decided to return to the octagon.
Ahead of her return, Namajunas opened up about the time when she decided to end her MMA career. During an interview with The MMA Hour, Namajunas said that she contemplated retirement several times, but really almost made up her mind ahead of the Esparza match.
“Yeah I definitely thought I was done. There are definitely a number of things but the way that I felt… Going into the locker room, I just didn’t feel aggressive and felt like I didn’t really want to hurt anybody. There are a bunch of other factors.” Namajunas said.
The other reason is that she felt some changes in her body. Namajunas revealed that it’s getting harder for her to make weight.
“Definitely after the Carla fight, win or lose, I was thinking about doing that anyways. My body’s changing. Early on in my career, I never really cut much weight up until the last few years. Each fight it’s just been a little bit more and more.” Namajunas said.
She added, “And even though I got better at cutting, I also felt like, ‘Man, this can’t be healthy.’ As much as I got mentally better at it, I think physically I’m way stronger now. Then I also made a little bit of effort to put on a little more size.”
Due to that reason, Namajunas will move up to the flyweight division upon her return. She is set to face Manon Fiorot at UFC on ESPN 53 on September 2 in Paris.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.