Rose Namajunas interested in winner of Erin Blanchfield vs. Manon Fiorot or Maycee Barber

LAS VEGAS – Rose Namajunas has her eyes on the UFC women’s flyweight title, but she knows work needs to be done first.

Namajunas (12-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC), a former women’s strawweight champion, picked up her first win at 125 pounds Saturday against Amanda Ribas (12-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) in the main event of UFC on ESPN 53. Namajunas defeated Ribas by unanimous decision in her second fight at flyweight. She lost her divisional debut this past September to Manon Fiorot.

Now with a win on her resume, Namajunas aims for a top contender so she can get closer to the belt.

“I’ll be watching that Manon and Erin Blanchfield (fight),” Namajunas said in the cage after her win. “I wanted to fight either one of those for this fight, but I lost to Manon, so if I can get a rematch with her if she wins, or even Maycee (Barber), I know she looked incredible, as well. (I’ll fight) either one of those girls.”

Blanchfield, Fiorot, and Barber currently are considered the top contenders in the women’s flyweight division. Namajunas has no problem taking any one of those next since she said she would rather earn her title shot instead of using her star power to try to campaign for an opportunity at the belt.

“I was happy to instead of being the champ and just jumping straight into a superfight – champ vs. champ – I do think it’s kind of cool to just work your way up and do it that way,” Namajunas said at the UFC on ESPN 53 post-fight press conference. “I think becoming a champ this way would be way more impressive. But at the same time, if they want to give me (a title shot), I’ll take it.”

Namajunas plans to make flyweight her new home, and doubts she’ll return to 115 pounds in the future. She’s feeling more comfortable and settled in her new weight class.

“I felt actually pretty good,” Namajunas said. “There are some things to work on. I think that I wasn’t as quick or as snappy as I wanted to be, but my arms are a little bigger and I also could feel my strength was great. I know everybody thinks that I’m small or weak, so it’s good to get better at the grappling aspect of things.”

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