The UFC has been dealt another blow ahead of next week’s UFC 249 event after it was revealed that former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas has pulled out from her co-main event rematch with Jessica Andrade.
The reasoning for Namajunas’ withdrawal has not yet been confirmed but news of the bout falling apart was first reported by Combate and has since been confirmed by several other outlets. It is unclear as to whether or not the UFC will seek a replacement opponent for Andrade on such short notice but her management team confirmed to MMA Fighting that they are intent on fighting next weekend.
“We’ll fight anyone,” Andrade’s manager Tiago Okamura said. “Flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight. Whatever it is, we’re in. We won’t go back home without a fight.”
The cancelled fight was to be a rematch of the strawweight world title bout from 2019 in which Namajunas lost her world title following a slam KO delivered by the Brazilian fighter. Andrade subsequently lost the championship to Zhang Weili in her next outing.
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This is the latest blow to hit what has become one of the strangest cards in UFC history. First set to take place in New York City before plans were forced to change due to the developing coronavirus crisis, UFC 249 will now reportedly take place at on tribal land at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California and features a card hastily assembled by UFC brass.
Justin Gaethje was drafted into the main event opposite Tony Ferguson in recent days after Khabib Nurmagomedov withdrew from the fight citing safety concerns, while fights such as Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik were plugged in to the show after falling off a previously cancelled card.