UFC 249 fight card: Rose Namajunas pulls out of scheduled rematch with Jessica Andrade, per reports
The former women's strawweight champion has pulled out of the bout for undisclosed reasons
The controversial UFC 249 event, set to take place amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, was officially revived on Monday. By Wednesday, it has already lost one of its marquee fights. ESPN is reporting that former women's strawweight champion Rose Namajunas made the decision to pull out of her highly-anticipated rematch with Jessica Andrade on the co-main event of the card. The reasoning for Namajunas' withdrawal was not revealed, and the UFC is reportedly in search of a replacement opponent for Andrade. News of Namajunas pulling out of the fight was first reported by Combate.
Namajunas (8-4) was scheduled to end a nearly year-long layoff in an attempt to avenge her 115-pound title loss to Andrade in May 2019 at UFC 237. Following two impressive victories over former women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk — the woman from whom she captured the title — Namajunas was dealt a shocking second-round KO loss at the hands of Andrade after a vicious slam to the mat. In the wake of the defeat, Namajunas, who has been open about her battles with mental health, teased walking away from the sport for good before deciding on ultimately competing again.
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Andrade's (20-7) glory on the heels of the stunning title-winning victory was short-lived as her reign ended abruptly in August 2019 when Weili Zhang became the champion at 115 pounds with a TKO win over Andrade just 42 seconds into the first round. A UFC 249 appearance, should it still take place with a replacement opponent, will mark her first trip back into the Octagon since that title loss.
UFC 249 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 18, with the card headlined by an interim lightweight championship fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.