Rose Namajunas Mixed martial artsRose Namajunas Mixed martial arts

While mentally enduring it, Rose Namajunas Mixed martial arts has come to the conclusion that cutting down to strawweight is no longer conducive to her body’s health.

Namajunas (11-6) entered the flyweight division in September 2023, facing a unanimous decision loss against top contender Manon Fiorot. Scheduled for her second flyweight appearance this Saturday, she will meet Amanda Ribas (12-4) in the main event at UFC on ESPN 53.

Approaching the upcoming bout, Namajunas feels physically better without the burden of a strawweight cut. She expresses increased confidence in absorbing head strikes and believes her punches pack more power with the added weight.

Rose Namajunas Mixed martial arts is unlikely to move back

Speaking at UFC Media Day, Namajunas stated, “My body is feeling great. I’ve gained more muscle for this fight. I’m around the same size as before, but more filled out and dense. So yeah, muscles are recovering, had a very intense training camp but injury-free and healthy. Immune system is super strong. Previous weight cuts sometimes taxed my immune system, so I’m thankful for my health.”

Rose Namajunas Mixed martial arts
Rose Namajunas Mixed martial arts

“Sometimes a weight cut becomes a distraction from the fight itself. But it’s a lot more enjoyable not fixating on it. Overall, I feel more confident in taking head strikes. My defense is sharp, but if something happens, I know my brain isn’t as dehydrated, which contributes to less brain damage. I also feel more confident in throwing harder punches now.”

The former two-time strawweight champion aims to clinch a title in another division, although she doesn’t plan on holding two belts simultaneously. Returning to strawweight is unlikely for Namajunas due to health concerns.

“I just think, health-wise, it’s not the right move for me at this point,” Namajunas commented. “I know I can push through mentally, but my body doesn’t respond well. After my last strawweight cut, my eyes were sunken in, and it’s hard to see myself like that. Even though my determination grows, my body’s tolerance weakens. Health and wellness are important to me, even in fighting. I want to preserve as much as possible.”