On Wednesday evening, news emerged that former UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas was forced to leave her scheduled UFC 249 rematch with Jessica Andrade.
We now know why.
In a statement posted on Instagram, manager Brian Butler-Au announced that several members of the Namajunas family have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
” [Rose Namajunas] has withdrawn from UFC 249 due to 2 family deaths from coronavirus, “the statement said. “She hopes to return to the Octagon as soon as possible but for now we are asking people to respect their privacy during this time. “
Rose Namajunas has not fought since losing the UFC strawweight title to Andrade in May 2019. Despite a good start to the fight, Namajunas was knocked out by a devastating slam in the second round. Andrade then lost the title to Weili Zhang in his first defense, succumbing to a volley of strikes in the first round. Zhang still holds the title, and the winner of the Namajunas vs Andrade rematch was in a good position to shoot the current champion.
At this point, it is unclear whether the UFC is looking for a replacement opponent for Namajunas. That said, promotion has its work cut out given the travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
The BJPENN.com team extends its condolences to Rose Namajunas and her family during this difficult time.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com 04/09/2020.