“We’re Gonna Get Together…”: Dana White Opens Up on What’s Next for Rose Namajunas Following Her Controversial Loss at UFC Paris

Published 09/06/2023, 2:28 AM EDT

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Former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas made her highly anticipated flyweight debut at UFC Fight Night 226 in Paris, where she faced Manon Fiorot. Despite her reputation as one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound fighters, Namajunas found herself in a losing effort at the Accor Arena. What made matters worse was a hand injury that visibly hindered her during the fight.

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UFC President Dana White, in response to queries about Namajunas’ future, disclosed details about an upcoming meeting with the former champion that could hold the key to her next steps.

What is Rose Namajunas going to do next?

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Namajunas had sought to make her mark in a new weight class after two separate title reigns at strawweight. However, her opponent, the third-ranked Fiorot, appeared notably larger in the cage. As the fight unfolded, Namajunas suffered a right-hand injury, further tilting the odds against her. In a display of heart and determination, Rose persevered throughout the entire fight. Despite her efforts, the decision did not swing in her favor.

When asked about Namajunas and her future weight class, White shared, “Rose is gonna drive here from Denver and have dinner with me, we’re gonna get together, have dinner, talk and see what’s next and hang out.

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As White mentioned in the interview, the path forward for Namajunas remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the flyweight division holds intriguing potential matchups if she opts to continue in this weight class.

‘Thug Rose’ and her future in the UFC

The three-round contest in Paris ultimately ended with a decision victory for Fiorot. This marks Namajunas’ second consecutive loss following her strawweight title defeat against Carla Esparza at UFC 274. With two back-to-back losses, ‘Thug Rose’ faces a setback in her championship aspirations in the new weight class. However, her performance in Paris demonstrated her ability to compete at the highest level, even in a weight class larger than her natural one.

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Online fans were also quick to criticize Namajunas for not having her long-standing and revered striking coach, Trevor Wittman, in her corner during the fight. Rose clarified in an online statement, on Instagram, that Wittman was occupied coaching Justin Gaethje for his BMF title fight. And that she chose not to interfere with their training camp.

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If Namajunas chooses to remain at flyweight, fans can be guaranteed some exciting matchups with the best in the division. Katlyn Chookagian, who is also coming off a loss against Fiorot at UFC 280, can be an option for Rose if she chooses to stay in the higher-weight division.

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The entire MMA community eagerly awaits the outcome of the meeting between White and Namajunas. The path forward for ‘Thug Rose’ remains uncertain. Should she persist at flyweight or return to her natural weight class at strawweight? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Dushyant Patni

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Dushyant Patni is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He fell in love with MMA at the tender age of fourteen and his appreciation for the craft has led him to become a practitioner, too. With a master's degree in English and an extensive background as a writer and editor, he uses his technical ability to articulate the nuances of the sport.
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Edited by:

Rupkamal Sarma

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