Win over Amanda Ribas Still Leaves “Thug” Rose Namajunas’ Career in Limbo

March 25, 2024
2 months

Rose Namajunas showed that she is still capable of winning at a high level in the UFC Saturday night in Las Vegas. While Namajunas wasn’t able to deliver a knockout win over No. 8 ranked flyweight Amanda Ribas, Namajunas did enough on her feet to secure a unanimous decision win.

The win over Ribas halted a two-fight losing streak for Namajunas, who is a former strawweight champion. But Namajunas had decided she wanted to fight at a higher weight. This win leaves her position in the title picture in a division currently being led by Alexa Grasso unclear. In Namajunas’ flyweight debut last year, she lost to No. 3 ranked Manon Fiorot.

Fiorot is set to fight No. 2 contender Erin Blanchfield in a title eliminator bout in Atlantic City next week. The division’s major issue is Grasso’s injury. Grasso last attempted to defend her UFC crown, but had to settle for a draw against Valentina Shevchenko. 

The UFC has said Grasso and Shevchenko will fight one more time to settle their differences. Namajunas, who is 31-years-old and is 12-6 in her career, may have to wait around and see how the smoke clears before she can proceed forward. 

Ribas is ranked in the top 10 of both strawweight and flyweight. However, Ribas has yet to find a place where she is truly comfortable. Ribas struggled to secure takedowns last night. Aside from the fourth round, Ribas had a hard time landing threatening strikes.

No Biting, Please

The UFC doesn’t have many rules while fighters are in the octagon. One specific thing that fighters aren’t allowed to do to each other is bite. Igor Severino was frustrated during the second round of his bout with Andre Lima.

Severino decided to bite Lima in the second round. Now, Severino is out of a job. The best MMA news sites said that UFC CEO Dana White confirmed that Severino was being released from his contract over the incident.

White also indicated that Severino would also be hearing from the Nevada State Athletic Commission over the incident. Lima said later that the company gave him a $50,000 bonus after the fight.

Karl Williams Outlasts Justin Tafa

Heavyweight Karl Williams is an excellent wrestler. Those skills will make him competitive in any fight he takes place in. But if Williams doesn’t learn how to start earning finishes, he may be viewed as someone who can’t produce excitement to get big fights.

Williams used his wrestling to produce a workmanlike unanimous decision win over Justin Tafa. Williams is 9-1 as a professional fighter and is 7-0 when his fights reach the scorecards. Finding matches for Williams going forward will be a challenge. The important thing is to pair him up with someone who can pull him out of his shell.

Shahbazyan Rights the Ship

Edmen Shahbazyan appeared headed for another disappointing effort. Since losing to Derek Brunson in August 2020, Shahbazyan had a stretch where he lost three of four matches, including two by TKO.

Against A.J. Dobson, Shahbazyan was once again wobbled by an opponent’s strikes. However, Dobson didn’t find the finishing combination. That was good news for Shahbazyan, who bounced ferociously after dropping Dobson late in the first round.

Shahbazyan stopped the fight by utilizing strong follow-up shots once Dobson hit the canvas to put him out cold. Shahbazyan improved to 13-4 in his career.

Talbott Builds Resume with Strong Win

Cameron Saaiman absorbed plenty of power punches from Payton Talbott in the first round of their bantamweight bout. Saaiman likely thought he would be able to wear down the younger fighter once the second round started. However, that’s not how things went. 

Talbott dropped Saaiman with a straight left, then followed up with ground punches to bring a stop to the bout 21 seconds into the second round. Saaiman had never been KO’d in his career before. The MMAfighting latest updates show Talbott improved to 9-0 and now has six knockouts on his resume.

Saaiman may have to do some reevaluation of his career following this loss. Saaiman has now lost two straight fights after opening his MMA career 9-0.

Zalal Keeps Pressure on Billy Q

Billy Quarantillo thought the end of the first round may have provided some respite. But Youssef Zalal gave Quarantillo no breaks. During the end of the first round, Zalal got on Quarantillo’s back and attempted to secure a rear-naked choke.

But Quarantillo was in a good enough position to defend the choke. Zalal had his back to the fence and Quarantillo was able to avoid toppling late in the round. However, Zalal didn’t let Quarantillo have any space to operate. In the second round, Zalal got back on Quarantillo’s back and was able to sink in the choke to pick up the win.

Zalal has now won four straight fights, including two straight by submission.

Padilla Makes Quick Work of Pajuelo

Fernando Padilla has shown already in his young UFC career that he is able to ride the emotional wave that comes along with fighting. Following a loss to Kyle Nelson last time out, Padilla overwhelmed Luis Pajuelo Saturday night. Padilla was able to sting his opponent and force Pajuelo alongside the cage.

Padilla wrapped him up with a standing choke in the first round to move to 2-1 in UFC fights. Here’s a look at the other fights on the card not mentioned above:

  • Lightweight, Trey Ogden win by decision over Kurt Holobaugh, 30-27 (x3)
  • Featherweight, Julian Erosa win by submission (guillotine) over Ricardo Ramos, Round 1, 2:15
  • Bantamweight, Miles Johns win by decision over Cody Gibson, 30-27 (x3)
  • Featherweight, Jarno Errens win by decision over Steven Nguyen, 30-27 (x3)
  • Women’s bantamweight, Darya Zheleznyakova win by decision over Montserrat Rendon, 29-28 (x3)
  • Heavyweight, Mike Parkin win by decision over Mohammed Usman, 29-28 (x3)

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By Dean McHugh.