Rose Namajunas Open to Title Shot: Ready to Accept If Offered

Rose Namajunas is back in the game. After a recent win, she’s eyeing the UFC’s flyweight division with renewed vigor.

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The former strawweight champ clinched a victory in the 125-pound category. It was Saturday night when she outperformed Amanda Ribas. The event? UFC on ESPN 53, held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The fight was neck and neck, but Namajunas had the upper hand in control time. Plus, she landed the more impactful strikes.

“Thug” Rose is feeling more at home in her new weight class. “I felt actually pretty good,” she shared at the post-fight press conference. But, she admitted there’s room for improvement. Quickness, snappiness – she’s working on it. Her strength, though? That’s not in question. “No weakness anywhere,” she declared.

Namajunas reflected on her performance. “I think I had more top position,” she noted. Despite a head toss from Ribas, Namajunas felt her power shots made the difference. “I just think I had more impact,” she mused, convinced she did more damage overall.

This victory was a sweet comeback. Namajunas had faced a setback against Manon Fiorot in her flyweight debut. But now, she’s not just back; she’s looking ahead. There’s a big fight next weekend – Fiorot vs. Erin Blanchfield. It’s a big deal, with No. 1 contender stakes. Yet, Namajunas knows her name carries weight. “If they wanted to give me a title shot, I’m more than happy to do that,” she said, eyes on the prize.

Namajunas is pragmatic, though. She gets how the game works. “You’ve got to earn things,” she acknowledged. Still, she can’t help but think about what might have been. A different outcome against Fiorot could have fast-tracked her to a title shot. “It is what it is,” she shrugged.

But there’s a part of her that relishes the climb. “… I think it is kind of cool to just work your way up and do it that way,” Namajunas mused. Sure, a quick shot at the title would be great. But conquering the division step by step? That’s the stuff of legends. “Becoming the champ this way would be way more impressive,” she admitted. Yet, she’s not turning down any shortcuts. “If they want to give me that, I’ll take it.”

Looking forward, Maycee Barber is on Namajunas’s radar. Barber’s on a hot streak, with six UFC wins under her belt. Her last victory was against Katlyn Cerminara at UFC 299. Namajunas has noticed. “I think she’s a savage,” she said of Barber. There’s history there; Barber used to call out Namajunas. “She’s really tough,” Namajunas acknowledged, hinting at a potential clash that excites her. But she’s open to other challenges too. Erin Blanchfield, Manon, or even a title shot – Namajunas is ready for whatever comes her way.

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