Continuing trauma for Rose Namajunas a sad hangover from McGregor bus attack
"I was joking about it and she started crying."
For those out there that dismissed the attack on a bus carrying UFC fighters and employers, ahead of April's UFC 223, as a WWE-style stunt, Rose Namajunas is the very real example of the real life impact.
Days out from the pay-per-view event at The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, Conor McGregor and members of his entourage gained access to the arena's loading bay, stopped the bus from leaving and barracked it. mcGregor went a step further when, captured on camera, he launched a hand cart at the bus, smashing a window.
Fighters Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were both struck by flying glass and were forced to pull out of the PPV. One of the more disturbing images from the footage captured aboard the fighters' bus must be that of a distraught Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Namajunas, her hood up, clearly shook by the incident.
MMa manager Alex Davis, who was on the bus, told MMA Junkie:
"Rose was really really really shaken up about this. Her husband, Pat Barry, said, ‘No, we’re going back, we’re leaving this place.’ And who’s going to stand in front of him? He’s taking his wife away from the mess. He did the right thing."
Another bus was arranged to get the fighters back to their hotels but Namajunas and her trainer, and partner, Pat Barry opted to steer well clear and walk. White visited her later that day to check on her.
There were legitimate fears, for several hours on Thursday, that events had shaken Namajunas so much that she would not be in a fit state to defend her straw-weight title against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. After some reflection, she later told officials she would indeed defend her belt. 48 hours later, she defeated Jedrzejczyk on points.
'The Notorious' sent out messages, through his social media accounts, to some that were caught up in the fiasco. Namajunas confirmed, after her fight, that McGregor had been in touch but she had not responded as she felt his apology was not genuine.
McGregor has made a plea deal since the incident and did not have to serve any jail time. He was not suspended from the promotion and, on October 6, will face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight belt.
Namajunas is currently rehabbing a couple of bad knocks but is hoping to return to fight again before the end of the year. Trevor Wittman, her trainer, has told Ariel Helwani's MMA Show that Namajunas is dealing with some other issues, pertaining to that bus attack. He said:
"Everyone has different perspectives as to what was going on. I wasn't on the bus. I actually joked with her when I came back. I thought it was nothing serious. I was joking about it and she started crying. I was like, 'Oh my God, what really happened?'
"And they were like when the window broke, it sounded like a gun-shot."
Namajunas' comments in June tie in with those of Wittman. "I’m still trying not to leave the house too much," she said, "or there will be times when I’m just like, 'Yeah we should just go home'. Like, I just have a weird feeling.
"I live in a very nice neighbourhood, there’s nothing that really goes on around here. So, for me to be like sketch [cautious] … I’m still paranoid about everything. I have a therapist that I go see."
McGregor's actions are clearly still having ramifications, five months on.