Personal tragedies have led to the withdrawal of ex-UFC champion Rose Namajunas from UFC 249, her manager said Thursday.
A day after her withdrawal was announced for “undisclosed reasons”, the representative of Namajunas published a statement via Instagram to purify the air. He said Namajunas lost two family members to the coronavirus and asked the fans for their privacy.
Additional details about the circumstances of Namajunas’ withdrawal were not immediately available.
Namajunas was half the co-star of the April 18 à la carte event, facing ex-champion Jessica Andrade in a rematch 11 months after Andrade took the belt in a violent victory. A Brazilian slam left Namajunas unconscious after a solid first round.
According to Combate, who originally signaled Namajunas’ withdrawal, the promotion is currently looking for a replacement opponent for Andrade, who flew to the United States within a short period of time to avoid potential complications from the travel restrictions of the coronavirus.
Part of Andrade’s training camp was held in his garage, as his gymnasium was subject to the same shutdown as MMA gymnasiums around the world.
Namajunas was offered a title shot against current champion Zhang Weili, but instead chose to face Andrade. She talked about being in a better place through the use of a mental coach, which helped her overcome doubts about her future in combat.
UFC 249 lost several fighters due to travel restrictions imposed on international fighters as well as injuries. The event is slated to take place at the Tachi Palace Resort Casino in Lemoore, California, although the promotion has not confirmed its location. The promotion plans to test all participants for COVID-19 before and before the event.