Former UFC strawweight champion, “Thug” Rose Namajunas could have been fighting for the title this weekend at UFC 248.
However, she turned it down and now former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is facing Zhang Weili in the co-main event spot.
Appearing on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Namajunas (8-4) detailed her reasons to not take the fight.
“I think everyone else felt the same way, too,” Namajunas said. “I was even offered Weili at the time, but I just – at the time I was still dealing with a lot of my own (things), just getting my head right, and I hired a mental coach that’s helping me do a lot of different things. And so there was a lot of work that needed to be done.”
Namajunas lost her title to Jessica Andrade in May 2019 at UFC 237. The fighter was slammed on her head in Round 2 and lost by knockout.
“I wasn’t ready for that just yet. I didn’t even really know if I wanted to fight at that time anymore, just because I wanted to make sure that this is something that I wanted to do and I wasn’t just like, ‘Let’s have another fight just because I’m good at it.’
“It was definitely one of my harder losses that I’ve dealt with. I think the thing is, it was easier in the sense that I knew exactly all of the things that I did wrong. The harder part is taking responsibility for myself, and yeah, maybe situations around me that I couldn’t control could have been better. But I could have taken control over a lot more things in my life. So ultimately, taking that responsibility is the hardest part out of everything.”
Now, current champ Zhang Weili faces former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 this weekend.