Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Rose Namajunas has really built her career off fighting the same opponents several times. Her last six fights came vs. three women, and her upcoming title defense this weekend (Sat. May 7, 2022) at UFC 274 opposite Carla Esparza is a rematch eight years in the making. Typically, when we talk of growth in MMA across a series of fights between the same two athletes, we’re talking about skill sets or strategic shifts. In the case of “Thug Rose,” however, the champion actually credits her 2019 title loss to Jessica Andrade for fixing her reoccurring neck problems.
For those that don’t remember, Andrade and Namajunas were in the midst of an absolute scrap when Namajunas tried to counter a takedown attempt with a kimura. Andrade, the Brazilian piledriver, lifted her into the air and slammed her directly onto the back of her head, separating “Thug Rose” from her consciousness and the UFC title in a single moment.
That’s also the moment Namajunas labels a miracle, as the slam healed her neck! Speaking on her past scraps, Namajunas explained further on “Morning Kombat.”
“With Joanna, I would say even though I had been in a five-round fight before that, the rematch with her was the real first war that I had. I had to weather a little bit of damage. With Andrade, that was a complete total stripping away of any innocence,” Namajunas said (via CBS Sports). “I got slammed on my neck [in the first fight] and then I got my nose broken in the second fight. The first fight was so different from the second fight as far as I didn’t really sustain any damage even though I got KO’ed. Actually, the neck problems that I had went away after getting slammed on my neck, which is kind of weird and sort of a miracle for me.”
Namajunas is 3-0 since that slam, which includes her revenge victory over “Bate Estaca.” In that rematch, Namajunas’ nose was broken and needed surgery … which ended up fixing her deviated septum, another prior injury!
“I came out of that fight unscathed, basically, whereas the second fight, totally different,” Namajunas said. “I had zero quit in me. I didn’t care if she broke my face, I was busted up or anything. I came out of that fight victorious, but I was damaged. It was a blessing in disguise as well.”
Four (?) Weeks Of Self-Promotion
So, here’s the update: I still have no opponent for May 28. I told my management let’s set a deadline at the end of the week to find out one way or another. Worst case, all names will carry over to the banner when I do finally get booked, which would most likely be in the fall after my June wedding …
As with all my pro fights, I raise funds to cover camp costs/actually make a profit via the fight banner. $5 or more gets your name/screen name/nickname on the fight banner, and it enters you into a raffle to win the banner itself. Payment options include venmo: AndyLRichardson (1572), PayPal, or the latest GoFundMe page. Complete details are HERE!
I hugely appreciate the MMAMania community support (financial or otherwise) for both my writing and fighting careers. Thank you!
UFC is really targeting Luke Rockhold vs. Paulo Costa for August 20, which seems like a gigantic challenge for Rockhold at this stage of his career.
Modern Marlon Vera is giving me serious 2018 Tony Ferguson vibes.
Gina Mazany is likely off the roster after her defeat last weekend.
❌ Fighter removed: Gina Mazany
— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) May 3, 2022
This match up doesn’t read like a recipe for a fun spin kick KO …
Stephen Thompson somehow keeps the bounce in his step late into fights where his opponent is chopping his legs, so listen to “Wonderboy!”
We probably shouldn’t take Dana White’s magic whiteboard as fact just yet. Also: f—k the Khamzat vs. Diaz match up!
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Teruto Ishihara returned to the win column over the weekend, though he did so at the cost of his cornerman’s voice, who desperately wanted him to fight responsibly. He didn’t, of course, but that’s the fun part of Teru fights!
UFC veteran Teruto Ishihara TKOs José Hernandez in the main event of Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat 1. Snaps a 6 fight winless streak and gets his first win since 2017. pic.twitter.com/yDYAVuQNcI
— Will (@ChillemDafoe) May 2, 2022
This is a pretty incredible counter kick as the opponent stumbled into a different angle.
Right hands and right kicks!
Some guy climbed San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower today, which is especially bold considering that based on the footage, dude’s climbing technique isn’t great.
Midnight Music: This Elliott Smith cover sounds like 1950s vocal jazz but came out in 2004, and it’s got a rather eerie vibe. I like it!
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.