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08th Apr 2018

Rose Namajunas explains why Conor McGregor bus incident left her so ‘shaken up’

Sounds traumatic

Ben Kiely

Rose Namajunas

The incident involving Conor McGregor and his entourage at the Barclays Center left Rose Namajunas badly shaken up.

Rose Namajunas was on the red corner fighters’ bus that was hit by projectiles after Conor McGregor and his crew stormed the arena. Along with Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa, Namajunas was one of the fighters whose involvement at UFC 223 was in doubt over the bus attack.

Chiesa and Borg were ultimately removed due to injuries sustained from the shattered glass, but Namajunas soldiered on to successfully defend her title in an epic five-round rematch against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Dana White told media that she was ‘very upset’ immediately after the incident. She backed up these claims in the post-fight press conference explaining that she almost didn’t make the walk.

“Yeah, I did (think about not fighting after the bus incident). But, I think a lot of times leading up to many fights I think that. I’ll doubt myself or I’ll question myself, but the voice was strong this time.”

“Thanks Michael”

The projectile that cut Chiesa and forced him out of his scheduled fight against former 155 lb champion Anthony Pettis was headed straight for Namajunas. She explained that it was actually the bus driver that spared her from being struck.

“The chair nearly came at my window. Thankfully to the bus driver, he was on point. He was backing up the bus as it came to my window and it ended up hitting Michael Chiesa in the head instead, unfortunately. So thanks, Michael (laughs).”

When asked why the incident had such an impact on her, Namajunas spoke without hesitation. She feared the situation could have escalated into something much worse.

“It shook me up because I didn’t know how far it was going to escalate. All the guys inside they wanted to fight back and they wanted to go jump out of the bus, but I don’t know if they’re going to open the door, all come in. They’re obviously not directly after me, but I’m just caught in this scenario.”

“My immagination goes crazy. After all the things I’ve been through in the past, I know that anybody can have a knife or a gun. We don’t know. So I jumped to the negative pretty quickly. There were a lot of thoughts going into this fight, but I’m just grateful to be in one piece and to be happy, healthy and safe.”

Thankfully, Namajunas was able to get in the right head space to make it to UFC 223. Her 49-46, 49-46, 49-46 unanimous decision victory over the Polish was arguably the greatest title fight in the division’s short history. It was right up there with Jedrzejczyk’s win over Claudia Gadelha.