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Rose Namajunas believes she can get her mojo back in main event fight against Amanda Ribas at UFC Vegas 89

Coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in her career, Rose Namajunas is ready to get her mojo back.

The two-time strawweight champion and Westminster resident sees Saturday’s UFC main event bout against Amanda Ribas as a statement toward her ultimate  goal of becoming a two-division champion, while getting her first flyweight win in the process.

“I’ve made adjustments, and I’ve been very focused heading into this fight,” Namajunas said. “I feel super prepared. (The adversity from the last two losses) were stepping-stones to be where I’m at right now. I’m taking all that with me and I’m about to throw it at my opponent’s face.

“I’m going to take my entire life (into the cage), who I am and what I’ve done, and I’m coming at her. I believe I’ll get the job done and I’ll get my hand raised.”

Namajunas lost her first flyweight fight to Manon Fiorot by unanimous decision in September. In the bout before that, she was defeated by Carla Esparza in a 2022 split decision that cost her the strawweight belt.

Despite those setbacks, Namajunas says she still has plenty of fights left in her. She’s currently ranked No. 8 in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings, and “Thug Rose” is eager to get back in the win column as a significant favorite against the Brazilian Ribas at UFC Vegas 89 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Namajunas split most of her training camp for this fight between Genesis Training Academy in Arvada and her Westminster home, where she and her coach/husband Pat Barry work out in their two-car garage-turned-MMA studio they dub “Rose’s Dojo.”

Throughout her training, Namajunas said she leaned on what she learned after losing her strawweight belt for the first time five years ago. Namajunas held that belt from November 2017 until May 2019, and then again from April 2021 to May 2022.

“That was an arduous journey after losing the belt the first time, and something that I carry with me, and still do,” Namajunas said. “The last couple years have been arduous as well, but because I had that other journey behind me, I was able to draw off that adversity and those experiences to keep pushing forward.”

The 31-year-old, a Milwaukee native who has lived in Colorado since 2013, moved from strawweight (115 pounds) to flyweight (125 pounds) to cut less weight and for competitive reasons. In addition to wanting to face a new division of fighters, she also knew that if she wanted to accomplish her goal of becoming a two-division champion, it was time to make the switch.

In Ribas, Namajunas gets the challenge of taking on the only fighter on the UFC roster ranked in two divisions, as Ribas splits her time between strawweight and flyweight. She is ranked No. 7 in strawweight, and No. 8 in flyweight, and is coming off a TKO of Luana Pinheiro in the strawweight division in November via a spinning heel kick to the face.

“(Ribas) brings a lot of energy and a lot of fire into the octagon, so I have to stay disciplined and composed,” Namajunas said. “I have to use my experience against her and be more calculated, and I have to have that same fire that she brings.”

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