Rose Namajunas’ first official UFC fight was for the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship, a fight she lost against Carla Esparza. She’s now won two straight in 2015, and with a fantastically dominant win over Paige VanZant, she’s nearing the title picture.
After the event, Namajunas said she felt she’ll be ready for a title fight whenever it happens, but feels she’s only going to keep getting better no matter what happens next.
“There’s a lot to think about right now,” Namajunas said at the UFC Fight Night 80 post-fight press conference (via FoxSports.com). “I feel that I’ll be ready for the title shot versus whoever’s going to have it by the time but I also want to get a little vacation time in and just sit back and enjoy the holidays..
“If there’s an opponent for me before that, one more and then the title or just the title right away, it just depends on how things line up. I don’t necessarily want to jump on it too fast. There was some things I feel I could have improved in the fight and been more comfortable in certain spots. It was definitely a great performance but I feel like I can always improve. I don’t want to be overly excited or anything like that.”
Penick’s Analysis: Namajunas was excellent on Thursday night. That said, it was against lesser competition by a significant margin than someone like Esparza. VanZant herself admitted her lack of technique hurt her in this matchup, and though she’s got a lot of raw talent, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a significant challenge for the top end of the division. Namajunas is likely to work her way to another title fight, very possibly in short order, but she’s still going to need to beat someone in the interim before getting that opportunity. She’s close, just not there yet.
[Photo (c) Gary A Vasquez via USA Today Sports]