Just days removed from the loss in her 125-pound debut, the ex-UFC strawweight champion addressed her performance as well as criticism she received from Fiorot afterwards. The three-round fight, which ultimately went to Fiorot by decision, didn’t discourage Namajunas from pursuing a future at flyweight.
If anything, Namajunas found even more motivation, especially after dislocating her pinky finger in the first round that left her unable to grip or make a fist.
“If I could go back in time, once it happened I originally thought to myself ‘I’ve seen this in the movies, I’m going to try to pull it myself’ but then I just didn’t do that,” Namajunas said during an Instagram live session. “Because that’s a little scary.
“I’m guessing it takes about a month or a little longer, at least a month to recover from. It feels like it’s going to heal fast but I don’t want to jump the gun.”
Namajunas revealed an initial x-ray didn’t show any fractures but rather just a dislocated finger, which caused her problems for the remainder of the fight.
Despite facing that adversity, Namajunas fought hard for all 15 minutes and made it a tough call for the judges even if she did suffer a unanimous decision loss.
Afterwards, Fiorot stated that it was “impossible” for Namajunas to take her down while adding that “Thug Rose” should probably return to 115 pounds because “the flyweights are too strong for her.” That comment apparently kicked a hornet’s nest, especially when Namajunas addressed what’s next in her career.
“Definitely rematch comes to mind or I’ll get her eventually because I almost beat her with one hand,” Namajunas said. “That’s my biggest gripe, I didn’t listen to nothing. I gave Manon respect. I was the one that walked up to her, shook her hand, [said] good job, good fight, blah, blah, blah. When she was sitting on the stool, I was standing up, ready to go two more rounds with one hand. Then I didn’t listen to the rest of her interview, everything she said word for word but I did see a headline she says I’m too small and I didn’t win a round.
“Well, I disagree with both of those things. I think I dropped your ass, so I’m definitely not too small. I might have had some moments of freaking out because I couldn’t grip my fingers together or I couldn’t make a fist but definitely not too small. If anything, why were you running away from [somebody] too small? Why did you originally call me out if I’m too small? I have no problems if she thinks she won. Great. Respect. But don’t say I’m too small because that’s not the case at all.”
Namajunas emphatically shut down any potential return to strawweight while noting that she’s already a two-time UFC champion. Add to that, Namajunas insisted that the weight cut was just too hard to fathom a return to 115 pounds and she’s dedicated to adding more size and muscle before her next fight at flyweight.
“I’m definitely going to stay [at flyweight],” Namajunas said. “I want to put a little more muscle on. I don’t want to go back down [to strawweight], definitely not. I felt so much better not cutting that weight.
“I already did conquer 115 and to go and do that again, that just seems harder than conquering 125 because of that freaking weight cut. Seriously. Draining your body like that is not good. Your kidneys and your brain and all that stuff. Plus I have a little more time. I’m going to definitely be lifting some freaking weights more. I’ve already been lifting a lot and I got a lot stronger but next time will be even more.”
Namajunas also shut down concerns over her coaching staff when addressing Trevor Wittman’s absence at UFC Paris.
It turns out, Namajunas stayed in contact with Wittman before and after her fight but due to timing they just didn’t get to work together much in preparation for the showdown with Fiorot. Namajunas also revealed that she built a gym in her garage at home, which served as her main spot to train in the weeks and days leading up to the fight.
“Trevor not being there, I want to address but I don’t want people making assumptions that Pat [Barry] has anything to do with it,” Namajunas said. “It was kind of stuff related to me and [Justin] Gaethje and his ‘BMF’ title camp he had going on. It’s honestly nobody’s business.
“Of course because everybody want to chin on Pat and make assumptions. Because that’s the way things are no matter what. People are just going to assume he’s the reason [Trevor] isn’t in my corner. It has nothing to do with Pat. It has everything to do with me and Gaethje and him having a fight with the ‘BMF’ and all that stuff and I didn’t want to interfere and I stayed back.”
Namajunas didn’t set a timeline for her return to action but it doesn’t appear that she will sit idle for too long with the sting of two straight losses still so fresh.
The loss wasn’t ideal but Namajunas still found reasons to be proud of her performance while primarily competing with one hand for the majority of her fight against one of the top ranked flyweights in the sport.
“I don’t know why everybody thinks I’m too small,” Namajunas said. “Because our reach was the same. I almost took her down. I had her posting out on fours on the ground and I couldn’t grip my fingers together!
“Was she a little bit bigger than me? Yes. Was she too big for me? F*** no.”