Rose Namajunas can’t say for certain what the future holds for her after losing the strawweight championship at UFC 237 on Saturday night in Brazil.
Long before she suffered a brutal slam knockout courtesy of Jessica Andrade, Namajunas has always appeared to be a person who could retire on a moment’s notice after deciding she wanted to do something else with her life.
It turns out, she was having those feelings even before stepping into the cage in her latest title defense as Namajunas explained following the event.
“Just a little mentally tired in there and it’s been such a long training camp, it’s been such a long year and it was a bit much. So I just kind of lost interest in being here,” Namajunas told ESPN in a post fight interview.
“I don’t know. Going into this one, I was like this might be the last time I ever do this but we’ll see. We’ll take it one day at a time. It’s super fun, I had a great time, we’ll see, I don’t know.
Why would Rose Namajunas retire now?
Namajunas mentioned specifically the rigors of training camp and how it takes a toll on her as well as the relationship she shares with retired UFC heavyweight Pat Barry.
“I think I always think that, but this time it was pretty heavy,” Namajunas said about walking away from fighting. “It’s just a lot on Pat and I’s relationship. At the same time, there’s so much good that comes out of it so you’ve got to see the bright side in everything. It’s easy to dwell on the negative but you’ve also got to not give yourself grey hairs either.”
At the post fight press conference, Namajunas continued to talk about the possibility that she may have just fought for the last time, although she’s not going to make a decision immediately when it comes to her future.
“I just want to do something else with my life right now,” Namajunas said. “I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m not going to make no decisions right now. It’s just hard to keep having fun with this.
“I just gave myself so many things to do and just focusing on one thing. I’m excited that I’ll finally get to pay my house off, so I’m excited about that.”
Just after the fight was over, Namajunas mentioned how the pressure was relieved after the title was wrapped around Andrade’s waist.
While she’s always embraced winning and defending the title, Namajunas has never allowed being a champion to define her life outside the cage. Perhaps now after UFC 237, Namajunas will be free to decide on her future without any obligations hanging over her head as champion.
“Just a lot of pressure, I’m still processing it,” Namajunas said. “I felt the pressure to get back in there when really the last fight prior to this one was just a lot of emotional baggage and stuff and juggling a bunch of different things.
“I’m still super happy that I came here. It was just an honor to challenge myself against Andrade and she’s a beast.”