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Namajunas withdraws from UFC 249 after death of two family members following coronavirus

The former strawweight champion was due to face Jessica Andrade in the controversial card’s co-main event on 18 April.

Namajunas:
Namajunas: "Her hopes are to return to the Octagon as soon as possible."
Image: Jason Silva

ROSE NAMAJUNAS HAS withdrawn from UFC 249 following the deaths of two family members who had contracted the coronavirus.

The former strawweight champion was due to face Jessica Andrade in the controversial card’s co-main event on 18 April.

Reports late on Wednesday indicated that Namajunas had pulled out of the event, and her manager confirmed the decision and the tragic circumstances in a short statement this evening.

“Rose Namajunas withdrew from UFC 249 due to 2 deaths in the family related to the Coronavirus,” Brian Butler-Au wrote in a message posted on Instagram.

“Her hopes are to return to the Octagon as soon as possible but for now we ask for people to respect their privacy during this time.”

UFC president Dana White had previously vowed that next week’s card will go ahead as planned despite the ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, and undeterred after losing the scheduled main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.

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UFC 249 had originally been due to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but reports this week indicated that it would now take place on tribal land in California to avoid the widespread global restrictions on sporting events.

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Niall Kelly

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