Editor's note: The article has been updated on 4/9/20 at 3:30 p.m. ET to reflect additional information.
Rose Namajunas’ long-awaited Octagon return won’t happen at UFC 249.
Just days after the promotion announced a 12-bout card for the event that included the original co-headliner between Namajunas and Jessica Andrade, the former strawweight champion has withdrawn from the event. Combate was first to report the news. The reason behind Namajunas' exit is due to multiple deaths in the family related to the coronavirus, according to her management team of SuckerPunch Entertainment on Thursday.
UFC 249 takes place on April 18 and is headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. While a location for the event has yet to be officially confirmed by the UFC, it will reportedly take place Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, Calif. The promotion is currently seeking a replacement opponent for Andrade.
Namajunas hasn’t competed since relinquishing the 115-pound belt to Andrade at UFC 237 in May 2019. “Thug” Rose contemplated retirement after the slam KO defeat but ultimately elected to resume her MMA career. Namajunas owns an 8-4 career mark that includes wins over Joanna Jedrzejczyk (twice), Michelle Waterson, Tecia Torres, Paige VanZant and Angela Hill.
Andrade last appeared at UFC Fight Night 157, where she lost the strawweight crown to Weili Zhang in a 42-second technical knockout defeat.
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