Former UFC champion Rose Namajunas wasn’t the target of Conor McGregor’s infamous Brooklyn bus attack, but speaking for the first time about the encounter she says that she was deeply impacted by the incident.
The incident inside the Barclays Center parking garage became the centerpiece of the blood-feud between McGregor and the target of his assault, Khabib Nurmagomedov, but if the Irishman intended to send a message to his Russian foe it certainly didn’t come without some collateral damage.
The incident was sparked when an enraged McGregor flew from Dublin to New York to confront Nurmagomedov after a video emerged of the Russian fighter and several members of his team facing off with McGregor’s teammate Artem Lobov – who was with just one training partner – inside the fighter hotel.
UFC fighter Michael Chiesa was left with a cut on his forehead suffered when he was showered with broken glass after McGregor flung a dolly at the slowly-moving bus – but as Namajunas detailed in an interview with the fight promotion she represents, she was lucky to escape without serious injury.
“It was like an eternity being in that bus, because I had no idea who that was that was attacking us,” Namajunas said.
“All of a sudden I see a big ol’ fist kind of bang on my window and then I see one of the security guards grab one of the dudes. I didn’t know it was Conor until a little bit later.
“When he threw the dolly, the bus was backing up into the elevator spot as he threw it to the window right in front of me. But had the bus not been moving, it would have hit my window.”
‘Thug Rose’ also recounted how the attack brought her back to unhappy memories earlier in her life of riding her school bus through rough neighborhoods.
“It just took me back to when I was a kid, riding to school through bad neighborhoods on a bus and people throwing sh*t at our bus,” she said.
“And I’ve never been completely cornered like that. We were just sitting there not in control. So what did I do in that moment? I said the Lord’s prayer again and then it did make me feel a little bit better at that moment, and it got me through that tough moment.
“And everything that was from my childhood, this is what I fought to get out of, and this is like back to stupid street sh*t. I don’t want to be around that any more. That’s what I fought my way out of.”
Despite being shaken up by the incident, Namajunas certainly didn’t allow the attack to impact her performance when she defended her UFC women’s strawweight title with a second straight win against Polish standout Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
“I came back around it, like, this is also what I’m here for,” she said. “So I took it as motivation to show the world that’s not gonna stop me.“