Thug Rose is back. MMA Junkie was the first to report today that former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (11-5) is returning and she’s moving up in weight. Per the report, Namajunas is moving up to flyweight and will be taking on top contender Manon Fiorot (10-1).
The matchup takes place on September 2nd at UFC Paris. A return for Namajunas and a homecoming for Manon Fiorot. Starting with Fiorot, she didn’t get the opportunity to fight in front of her home country last year. She had two separate fights fall through and ultimately fought the month after the event.
Fiorot fought Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 280 and won by decision. The win made her 5-0 inside the octagon and her last two wins came against former title challenger. Those wins have her ranked second in the flyweight division only behind longtime former champion Valentina Shevchenko.
We haven’t seen Thug Rose since her title defeat to Carla Esparza back at UFC 274 last May. The fight was one of the worst title fights in history if not the worst. Namajunas lost a close split decision and it really wasn’t clear whether or not she’d return after that.
Namajunas first became strawweight champion in 2017 and lost the title to Jessica Andrade in 2019. She took more than a year off before returning after that loss and won three straight upon her return. Including two straight wins over current strawweight champion Zhang Weili.
Then she faced Esparza and lost by decision which made her 0-2 against The Cookie Monster. Namajunas stepped away and the former UFC champion is ready to make her return but she’s moving up in weight to flyweight for the first time.
Given where Fiorot is ranked and considering the fact that Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko are fighting just two weeks after this, you have to think this is a title eliminator. The fans of Paris just got a massive flyweight fight with huge title implications.