Fan-favourite Namajunas relinquished the women’s strawweight title to Jessica Andrade early on Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Milwaukee native was dominating the contest before she was brutally slammed on her head by Andrade in the second round and knocked out cold.
Moments after her reign as strawweight queen ended, a crestfallen Namajunas stunned the crowd at the Jeunesse Arena by claiming losing the title lifted a ‘weight off’ her shoulders.
And in the post-fight press conference, she once again hinted that retirement could be right around the corner.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Namajunas said when asked about her future. “I’m not gonna make no decisions right now, I don’t know. It’s just hard to keep having fun with this.”
The 26-year-old then revealed she felt pressured into returning to the cage due to her lengthy layoff.
“It’s just a lot of pressure. I don’t know, I’m still processing it,” Namajunas said when asked to clarify her comments in her post-fight interview.
“I felt the pressure to get back in there when really it was, there was just a lot of — the last fight prior to this one was just a lot of emotional baggage and stuff and juggling a bunch of different things.
It’s just hard to keep having fun with this
“I’m still super happy that I came here, it was just an honour to challenge myself against Andrade. I know she’s a beast.”
In the co-main event of the evening, future UFC Hall of Famer Anderson Silva suffered a first-round TKO loss to Jared Cannonier in unusual circumstances.
The former middleweight champion was stopped courtesy of a leg kick from ‘The Killa Gorilla’, which aggravated a lingering knee injury.
Cannonier was unsurprisingly booed by the hostile Rio crowd and replied by saying: “If they don’t respect me, then I don’t respect them.”
Elsewhere on the card, ‘The King of Rio’ Jose Aldo suffered a unanimous decision defeat to the No.4 ranked Alexander Volkanovski, while former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn suffered his seventh straight loss to Clay Guida.
UFC 237 results
Jessica Andrade def Rose Namajunas via second-round KO (2:58)
Jared Cannonier def Anderson Silva via first-round TKO (4:47)
Alexander Volkanovski def Jose Aldo via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Laureano Staropoli def Thiago Alves via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Irene Aldana def Bethe Correia via submission (armbar) (R3, 3:24)
Ryan Spann def Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via first-round KO (2:07)
Thiago Moises def Kurt Holobaugh via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27)
Warlley Alves def Sergio Moraes via third-round KO (4:13)
Clay Guida def BJ Penn via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)
Luana Carolina def Priscila Cachoeira via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 29-27)
Raoni Barcelos def Carlos Huachin via second-round TKO (4:49)
Viviane Araujo def Talita Fernando via third-round KO (0:48)
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