Rose Namajunas isn’t the UFC Strawweight Champion anymore, but she could regain her status as the Queen of the 115-pound division in 2021. She’s expected to face Weili Zhang in the first quarter of 2021, and she will look to get back to the top.
Rose Namajunas recently defeated Jessica Andrade by unanimous decision at UFC 251 – getting revenge against the Brazilian who defeated her over a year before that. While it’ll be interesting to see how she fights against one of the best female MMA fighters in the world today, Rose Namajunas sat down and spoke to the UFC about the infamous Conor McGregor ‘dolly’ incident from March 2018.
Just for a little context to those who are unaware – Conor McGregor threw a dolly on a bus full of UFC fighters, targeting Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Russian was the target of Conor McGregor after he berated the Irishman’s good friend Artem Lobov at a hotel.
The controversy saw Conor McGregor get arrested, and it led to the biggest MMA pay-per-view bout of all time in October that year. What many people forget is that Rose Namajunas was not only on the same bus that was attacked, but she was in the riskiest position.
In UFC Year of the Fighter, Thug Rose Namaunas reflected on the incident and revealed how it affected her ahead of her title fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk:
“It was like an eternity being in that bus, because I had no idea who was attacking us. All of a sudden, I see a big old fist bang on my window and I see the security guard grab one of the dudes. I didn’t know it was Conor [McGregor] until a little bit later. When he threw the dolly, the bus was backing up to the elevator spot. As he threw it to the window right in front of me, but had the bus not been moving, it would have hit my window. In my head, once I found it was Conor, I was a bit relieved, but I still was on edge because it took me back to when I was a kid – riding to school through bad neighorhoods, and people would throw s**t at our bus. And I’ve never been completely cornered like that. We were just sitting there, not in control. So what did I do in that moment? I said the lord’s prayer again. And it did make me feel better in that moment and it got me through that tough moment. And everything that was from my childhood, I fought to get out of. And this is back to stupid street s**t. I don’t want to be around that anymoe. It was what I fought my way out of. So here I find myself again in that same spot. But at the same time I came back to it, and this is also what I’m here for, so I took it as motivation to show the world that it wasn’t going to stop me.”
The aftermath of the incident for Rose Namajunas
The fact that Rose Namajunas got through it and went on to defend the Strawweight Championship is something that proves how great she is. Rose Namajunas faced Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a rematch and defeated her via decision after five rounds.
Looking back on it, Rose Namajunas told the UFC that she was still rattled leading up to the fight and, until the first round, was extremely tense. She pushed through it and stated that sticking to her fundamentals helped. Ultimately, it proved to be a successful night for Rose Namajunas, and she will be looking to repeat that in 2021.
Published 02 Dec 2020, 12:21 IST