Namajunas lost her 115-pound title to Andrade back in May after the Brazilian hoisted her in the air during a takedown attempt and then brought her crashing back down to the canvas with a vicious slam. Namajunas was knocked out from the impact and Andrade was crowned the new strawweight champion.
Prior to the slam, Namajunas had done a masterful job avoiding Andrade’s power while winning the first round and then looking good in the second round as well before she suffered the knockout.
In the aftermath of that fight, Namajunas cast doubt on her plans for the future but according to her manager Brian Butler of Suckerpunch Entertainment, the former champion is resting and recovering from a neck injury in hopes that she can return before the end of 2019.
“Rose is definitely interested in a rematch [against Jessica Andrade],” Butler told MMAFighting on Tuesday. “Her tentative plan is to fight by the end of the year. The UFC was interested in the rematch but she’s not on a timetable where she needs to discuss a date.
“She had an ongoing neck injury prior to the fight and she wants to get herself back to 100-percent and when she steps back in it will be her choice.”
Andrade is rumored for a fight against Chinese strawweight Weili Zhang in August, although that matchup has not been confirmed or announced by the UFC yet.
Obviously it sounds like Namajunas would like to face the winner of that fight but right now her main concern is healing up her neck injury before notifying the UFC that she’s ready to fight.
Several fighters were vying for a shot at Andrade’s title including Michelle Waterson and Tatiana Suarez. UFC president Dana White shot down Waterson’s request following UFC 238 and Suarez was dealing with a neck injury of her own that will apparently keep her sidelined for the time being.
For now, Namajunas will continue to rest and recover before plotting her next fight hopefully before the close of 2019.