Former Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight queen, Rose Namajunas, is gearing up for another shot at flyweight. This juicy bit of news first trickled down on Wednesday, courtesy of MMA Hoje.
The initial buzz was that Amanda Ribas, with a 12-4 record, would be squaring off against Namajunas, who stands at 11-6. Word was they’d headline a May 23 show, but a quick correction put the date as March 23. These two flyweights are set to be the main event for the UFC Fight Night show on that date. The venue? None other than the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. This high-stakes match-up was later confirmed by other outlets on Friday.
A bit about Ribas. This Brazilian fighter’s last seven outings have been a mixed bag, with wins and losses alternating. She’s been switching between flyweight and strawweight, and currently holds the no. 12 spot at 125 pounds and the no. 14 place at strawweight on Sherdog’s Official Rankings. Her return to strawweight after three bouts at flyweight was memorable. She landed the first spinning wheel kick in UFC women’s divisional history, taking out Luana Pinheiro in November 2023. However, her previous stint at flyweight was less successful, with a win against Viviane Araujo but a loss to Katlyn Chookagian and a knockout by Maycee Barber.
Now, let’s talk Namajunas. A two-time champion at strawweight, she moved up in weight for the first time at UFC Fight Night 226 in Paris. “Thug Rose” lost to Manon Fiorot, marking the second losing streak of her career. Both streaks included a loss to Carla Esparza. Namajunas first claimed the belt in 2017 by defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and she reclaimed it in 2021 with a head kick to Weili Zhang.
The UFC Fight Night event on March 23, still without a number, will go down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Apart from the Ribas-Namajunas headliner, the card also features Julian Erosa vs. Ricardo Ramos and Davey Grant vs. Cody Gibson in featherweight and bantamweight bouts, respectively.