12 July 2020 10:36
Rose Namajunas may have looked like the losing fighter after her UFC 251 clash with Jessica Andrade but it was the American's hand that was raised on Saturday night. Namajunas conducted her post-fight interviews on Fight Island in the UAE seemingly unbothered by the brutal gouges on her nose, while the 28-year-old's puffy, black and blue eye remained clamped shut. She will count the injuries as worthwhile though, having dominated the opening two rounds before Andrade's offensive in the third left Namajunas bloodied and bruised in the bout voted Match of the Night. Rose Namajunas was badly beaten-up in her UFC 251 revenge victory over Jessica Andrade Namajunas' win came 14 months after defeat by the Brazilian, and she'd been out the ring since The 28-year-old American could no have earned a title shot against champion Weili Zhang The former strawweight champion was handed a 29-28 victory on two judges' scorecards, sealing revenge after losing to the Brazilian by second-round knockout 14 months ago. 'I was just in the right state of mind,' Namajunas said.
Early on in the fight, I was doing great. The fighter showed off her wounds after fight following the gruelling victory on Fight Island The brutal injuries brought back memories of Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Zhang's March fight Namajunas was able to conduct her post-fight interviews barely noticing the gouges 'Then I think she hit the desperation button and started really unloading. She caught me a couple of times, but I just stayed strong.' Namajunas' injuries brought back memories of Joanna Jedrzejczyk and the division's champion Zhang Weili's bout in March, when both fighters were left severely disfigured after a slugfest which had even hardened MMA fans wincing. Namajunas' win sets her up for a shot at winning the title back with a potential fight with Weili, but will first have to recover from her gruesome wounds. ROSE NAMAJUNAS gained revenge on Jessica Andrade with a decision win following an epic battle on Fight Island.
And it looked bad for her when she was flung to the mat with a strong throw. But Namajunas got back to her feet and survived the onslaught to get the win. Namajunas said: "She went into desperation and started really unloading and she caught me a couple times, obviously. But I just stayed strong." Andrade, who lost the title to current champ Zhang Weili, has now lost her last two fights. Most read in MMA TO CATCH A CHEAT Furious wife beats and strips her husband's suspected mistress in the street - but crowd does nothing DEAR DEIDRE I'm scared my wife will catch me having sex with her cousin on our settee KID CRISIS I am finally happy with a new man but my children believe I have abandoned them Exclusive Hel's angel Celtic WAG Helen Flanagan defends co-sleeping with daughter, 2 TOO FAR? Comedian Katherine Ryan upsets fans after lying about having botched bum lift to promote TV show BASKING BRITS Scots to bask in temperatures of 21C before sizzling heatwave returns Namajunas then promised to auction off her fighting gear to help popular UFC make-up Friton, who is battling stage four breast cancer. UFC fighters including Jon Jones and Dustin Poirier have already made generous donations. A GoFundMe page was started for Friton by Brittany Churchill, the wife of UFC light heavyweight contender Misha Cirkunov, on Wednesday. And £92,000 has already been raised, with Jones giving just under eight grand himself. Rose Namajunas cracks Jessica Andrade at UFC 251 Rose Namajunas returned to championship form with an impressive victory over fellow-former champion Jessica Andrade at UFC 251 on Saturday. The event was the first of four in a 15-day span on Fight Island on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The fight started with a solid first round from both fighters. Andrade was quick to utilize her head movement, while Namajunas was more about foot movement. Both fighters immediately engaged with their hands, as they did throughout the fight. Andrade landed a few hard left hooks in the frame, but Namajunas edged ahead with a stiff jab followed by several hard right hands. Namajunas was the busier fighter throughout the frame, as Andrade was trying to land the power shot. Round two was another solid round from Namajunas. While Andrade was swinging for the fences, Namajunas looked even more fluid than the first round, sticking her jab and following with hard right hands. When Andrade shot, Namajunas stuffed it and landed a knee to the face. Andrade had her moments, but looked to be growing tired as the round wore on. Namajunas appeared to be having fun, sliding around the octagon and stinging Andrade with her jab. Andrade planted her feet and swung harder than ever as the final round got underway, but Namajunas stayed fluid and shuffled her feet, stinging with the jab, landing much more frequently than Andrade, as she did during the first two rounds. Andrade finally found her moment and tossed Namajunas to the round, but she couldn't find a way through the armor. Namajunas remained calm and fought her way back to her feet, her nose now bloodied, even more so than Andrade's. A minute and a half left in the fight and Andrade dug deep, bobbing and weaving, swinging hard, landing a few more shots, but Namajunas would be dropped. She instead shot and took Andrade to the canvas, but the fight was quickly back to the feet. Story continues Andrade swung hard, but Namajunas, her left eye blackening and swelling, dug beep and swung just as hard in return. It was a solid performance by both fighters, but the judges saw the fight in Namajunas's favor, awarding her a split-decision victory. The victory was important for Namajunas, who lost the initial match-up and the UFC strawweight title to Andrade when they first met. TRENDING> UFC 251 Fight Island: Usman vs. Masvidal Results Now back on the winning track, Namajunas could be staring at a potential fight with Weili Zhang, the current champion. It's a significant win for Namajunas, who was struggling with finding her enjoyment with the sport after winning the title and then losing it to Andrade. Having avenged that loss, Namajunas appears more invested than ever in getting her fight career back on track. "The first part is just getting right with God; the rest is just technically, physically having fun again," Namajunas said after the fight. "I was hoping to get back in there by the end of the year, but we'll see how my nose is doing," she said when asked about challenging Zhang. Namajunas's right eye was blackened and badly swollen, but her nose was also busted up after the fight with Andrade. So it remains to be seen how quickly she can heal up and be back in the Octagon. (Photo courtesy of UFC | Getty Images)