Rose Namajunas’ victory over Tecia Torres on Saturday at UFC on Fox 19 has her sitting as one of the top contenders in the UFC’s strawweight division, but a title shot may not be up next.
In an interview with ESPN after the event, UFC President Dana White said the 23-year-old may yet need to get some more competition under her belt before challenging for the belt a second time.
“I don’t know if Rose is too excited to rush in there for a title shot again,” White said (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com). “She’s catching her stride. She looked good tonight. She seemed like she was loading up a lot and trying to knock her out with one punch instead of flowing like she did against Paige. But she’ll probably have a fight or two before a title shot.”
Namajunas’ win over Torres was her third straight, avenging a loss from nearly three years prior under the Invicta FC banner. She’s fought once for the title already, that coming in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 20 in a loss to Carla Esparza.
Penick’s Analysis: It’s for the best for her not to fight for the title next. She’s coming along well, and continuing to improve her overall game, but some of the issues she had Saturday with Torres’ timing would only be exacerbated in a fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. There are things she can work on to make herself more competitive in perhaps nine months to a year, and the confidence built up over better performances can help that in a big way. She’s got tons of potential, but that title fight would be too much for her next fight.
[Photo (c) Troy Taormina via USA Today Sports]
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