UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko hopes Rose Namajunas returns to the Octagon, but only if she is 100 percent healthy.
Namajunas lost her women’s strawweight title to Jessica Andrade in the main event of UFC 237 in Brazil last weekend.
After dominating her opponent for the majority of the first round, “Thug” was picked up by Andrade during a kimura attempt and brutally slammed on her head. She was knocked out instantly as Andrade became the new strawweight queen.
Despite the nature of the finish and suspicions of a broken neck, Namajunas seemed to be okay. However, she later hinted at retirement in the post-fight press conference, though she didn’t rule out a rematch either.
“I was definitely whipping her butt, there’s no doubt about that,” Namajunas said. “We’ll see if I’m still interested in this. I know I can beat her. I just don’t know.”
Health Is The Priority
Shevchenko, who trains with Namajunas at the 303 Training Center, believes her teammate can make a comeback. However, “The Bullet” urged her to be completely healthy first.
“I did watch the fight. It was a crazy fight,” Shevchenko told theScoreMMA. “Jessica was so focused on the victory. Of course, it [the slam knockout] was something you cannot expect but you know, I want to congratulate Jessica.”
“Of course, I want to reach to Rose to be strong, to come back, but first of all, to be healthy. This is the number one thing important for all martial arts. If you are healthy mentally, physically, you can go far as you can go. This is what I want for Rose — to be healthy.”
The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) later medically suspended Namajunas for 180 days. However, “Thug” can return sooner (60 days, 45 days with no contact) if she is cleared by a doctor after an MRI on her neck.
Hopefully, she does return with a full bill of health as she is undoubtedly one of the most talented female fighters in the world today.
As for Shevchenko, she is scheduled to defend her flyweight title against Jessica Eye in the co-main event of UFC 238. That card takes place in Chicago on June 8, with flyweight champion Henry Cejudo taking on Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title in the main event.
Tony Ferguson is also set to make his return for the first time since October when he collides with Donald Cerrone on the main card.