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Move Back to Strawweight Unlikely for Rose Namajunas Due to ‘Tough’ Weight Cut

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While she has managed to endure it mentally, Rose
Namajunas believes cutting down to strawweight is no longer
healthy for her body.

Namajunas (11-6) made her flyweight debut in September 2023, coming
up on the short side of a unanimous decision against top contender
Manon
Fiorot. “Thug” is slated to make her sophomore flyweight
appearance this Saturday against Amanda
Ribas (12-4) in the main event at
UFC on ESPN 53.

Going into the matchup, Namajunas feels healthier not being bogged
down by the additional turmoil of a strawweight cut. Along with an
increased confidence in absorbing head strikes, Namajunas also
believes her punches have gotten harder with the extra weight.

“My body is feeling great,” Namajunas said at UFC Media Day. “I
definitely put on more muscle for this fight. I’m around the same
size as I was last time but I’m just more filled in and more dense.
So yeah, muscles are recovering, definitely was a very intense
training camp but yeah, injury-free and healthy. Immune system is
super strong. I think some of those weight cuts before taxed my
immune system a little bit sometimes so I’m very thankful for the
health.

“I mean sometimes a weight cut when it is a tough weight cut, it’s
kind of a distraction from the fight itself. Cause it’s like, ‘Oh,
this is a fight before the fight.’ But you’re right, it’s a lot
more enjoyable to eat food and not [be] fixated on it so much.
Overall I just feel more confident in being able to take head
strikes. Obviously, my defense is going to be on point but you know
if something happens I know my brain’s not as dehydrated. I feel
like that contributes to a lot of brain damage when you’re
dehydrating your brain and then getting punched… I feel more
confidence in throwing harder too. I would say I have been throwing
a lot harder punches now.”

The former two-time strawweight queen is looking to earn a strap in
another division, although she doesn’t necessarily plan on holding
two belts simultaneously. Moving back down to strawweight is most
likely not an option for Namajunas moving forward.

“I just think like health-wise, it’s just not a healthy thing to do
for me at this point,” said Namajunas. “I know that I can keep
pushing through it. Like my mind got a lot stronger with cutting
the weight but I could tell my body was definitely not liking that
as much. I could tell from my last strawweight cut my eyes were
sunken in and it’s kind of hard to see myself like that. So even
though the will gets stronger, the flesh gets weaker. I’m all about
health and wellness even though we are about to go and fight. But I
want to preserve as much as possible.”

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