It was announced this past week that the former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight champion will make her Flyweight debut at UFC Paris on Sept. 2, 2023. Standing in “Thug’s” way will be the No. 2-ranked contender and France native, Manon Fiorot.
Namajunas, 30, hasn’t fought since dropping her Strawweight title to Carla Esparza via split decision (watch highlights) in May 2022. Since then, the title changed hands once again and old faces have returned. Concerning the latter, highly-touted contender, Tatiana Suarez, successfully got back in action with a second round guillotine of Montana De La Rosa at Flyweight in Feb. 2023 (watch highlights). Now returning to Strawweight for a showdown with Jessica Andrade, Suarez was hoping to get her hands on Namajunas at some point but will now have to wait.
“It’s really the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Suarez said on The MMA Hour. “I’ve been wanting to fight her. Because I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m back to 115 – maybe I could fight Rose,’ and it’s like, she’s going back to 125. I’m like, crazy.
“I think she totally dodged me,” she laughed. “No, I’m messing. Not at all. I think this was her plan all along. I wouldn’t even say that if I thought that.
“Whenever I say I want to fight her, it’s not because I want to go beat her up, or something like that, I don’t like her,” she concluded. “I just think she’s such a good fighter. Like, I’ll watch her and I’m like, amazed because how great she is.”