Jessica Andrade’s first title defense will not be a rematch against the woman she beat for the belt in Rose Namajunas last month. Instead, the Brazilian will reportedly defend her belt against Weili Zhang at UFC Fight Night 157 on Aug. 31 in China.
It was rumored that “Thug Rose” would be offered the chance to avenge her loss to Andrade, given that she had appeared to be winning before the fight-ending slam.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reached out to Namajunas’ team after the news broke that the former champion wouldn’t get an immediate rematch. According to her manager, Brian Butler, Namajunas is interested in the fight but is taking time off from the sport to recover from last month’s loss (courtesy of ESPN):
“Rose was definitely interested in the rematch however right now she is taking time to heal up. She had a neck injury before her last fight and now is just going to take the time to take care of herself and get back to 100 percent. Her plan is to fight sometime by the end of this year. When Rose decides to come back she will come back better than ever.”
Okamoto noted that Butler also represents Zhang and that Namajunas wouldn’t be ready to fight in a rematch given the tight time frame the UFC gave Andrade to defend the belt:
“Note: Butler also manages Zhang. He told me Rose was not in serious consideration for a rematch, given the timeframe UFC wanted Andrade to defend and Rose’s injury.”