2-time UFC champ Rose Namajunas nearly walked away from sport for a shocking reason

UFC strawweight legend Rose Namajunas is set to make her long-awaited awaited return to the Octagon in September but it wasn’t long ago when she thought she was done competing for the MMA world leader.

Rose Namajunas is without a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest female fighters in UFC history. Like lightweight is to the men’s side of the sport, 115 pounds has always been the most talent-rich weight class for the ladies. Over 15 fights in the fabled Octagon, “Thug Rose” has created a legacy that is second to none as she won the division title not once, but twice.

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What also makes her legacy all the more impressive is that it has always taken elite-level opposition to defeat her. However, she also has had trouble mentally bouncing back from her few defeats. In her last UFC appearance, the 31-year-old lost her championship in a lackluster showing in a rematch against Carla Esparza. A fighter who had previously beaten her when the two faced off in the finals of Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014.

rose namajunas
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it seems that things weren’t right even before she entered the Octagon last year at UFC 274. Explaining during an appearance this week on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” an overall lack of the necessary aggression to compete in a professional cage fight and how she thought she was done with the fighting because of it.

“I definitely thought I was done for a good amount of time. I was just kind of like; there’s definitely a number of things, but the way that I felt in the locker room, I just didn’t feel aggressive and I felt like I don’t really want to hurt anybody. So I was just like, ‘I guess I’m done.’ There’s definitely a bunch of other factors that went into it. It’s obviously not the first time that I’ve questioned whether I should keep doing this or not.”

– Rose Namajunas

The former strawweight queen admitted that even on a spiritual level she had doubts that continuing to compete in the UFC was what she was meant to do as she continued to gain a distaste for violence. However, after further reflection, she says being a “warrior” in the cage was what she was put on this Earth to do.

“After Carla, it was kind of like; I know there was more than just the feeling of not really wanting to partake in violence,” Namajunas said. “It was just kind of a spiritual thing. I just kind of questioned whether or not God wanted me to keep going and maybe this isn’t part of a godly life. But I kind of came back around to, ‘No, this is definitely what God has called me to do.’

“He kind of has all different special gifts for everybody and some people are warriors and some people are preachers,” she continued, “so obviously I’ve been gifted with the warrior spirit and just something special. I know I don’t have a ton of time left, but I know He’s not finished with me yet in this chapter.”

Rose Namajunas record: 11-5 (2 KO, 5 submission)

Rose Namajunas will compete in a main card matchup against rising star Manon Fiorot in her flyweight debut at UFC Paris on Sept. 2.

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