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Rose Namajunas Believes Win Over Tracy Cortez Puts Her in Title Contention



Rose Namajunas believes she isn’t far away from a title shot in her new weight class.

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Namajunas moved up to flyweight after her second strawweight title run ended with a split-decision loss against Carla Esparza at UFC 274. Namajunas dropped a unanimous decision loss against Manon Fiorot in her flyweight debut at UFC Paris in September 2023. However, Namajunas has since bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Amanda Ribas this past March to regain relevance in the flyweight division.

Namajunas revealed that winning a second title has certainly motivated her move up to flyweight — though that wasn’t the only reason.

“When I first started my career in the UFC, that was kind of like my vision that I had in mind,” Namajunas told MMAjunkie.com. “It wasn’t like super solid, but I definitely wanted to become champion. And then, somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought to become champion in two divisions as well. But that was so far in the distance – I [had never been] a champion before – I wasn’t sure if I could make that happen. But now I know that I can. Not just that though, but the weight cuts were getting a little bit more difficult each time. And then it was just, I was fighting the same people over and over again.”

Namajunas headlines UFC on ESPN 59 at the Ball Arena in Denver against short-notice replacement opponent Tracy Cortez on Saturday. “Thug” expects to gain immediate relevance in title contention talks with win over Cortez, who hasn’t lost a fight since her pro debut in 2017.

“I’d say I’m right in that title contention talks [with a win],” Namajunas said. “God willing, I’m healthy, I’m in shape and I’m ready to go with a win and whatever opportunities they want to give me. I could see myself fighting for the belt really soon. So it’s just a matter of doing my job and fighting to the best of my abilities. And anything’s possible.”
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