The champion was on the bus attacked by former UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor and followers the Thursday before the event, which led to the fighter almost pulling out of the title defense.
“Yeah, I did (think about pulling out of UFC 223),” Namajunas said at the UFC 223 post-fight news conference. “But I think a lot of times leading up to many fights I’ll question that. I’ll doubt myself or I’ll question myself, but the voice was strong this time.”
While Namajunas didn’t pull out of the event, a trio of bouts were canceled due to the attack, including Michael Chiesa versus Anthony Pettis, Ray Borg versus Brandon Moreno and Artem Lobov versus Alex Caceres.
Namajunas almost got hit with glass from a dolly thrown at the bus by McGregor, but the glass wound up hitting the face of fellow UFC fighter Michael Chiesa.
“The [dolly] nearly came at my window. Thankfully to the bus driver he was on point. He was backing up the bus as it came to my window but it ended up hitting Michael Chiesa in the head instead unfortunately. So thanks Michael,” Namajunas said. “It shook me up because I didn’t how far it was going to escalate. All the guys inside wanted to fight back and jump out of the bus but I don’t know if they are going to open the door and all come in. They are obviously not directly after me but I’m caught in this scenario. My imagination goes crazy through all the things I’ve been through in the past. I know anyone could have had a gun or a knife. I jump to the negative pretty quickly. It was a lot of thoughts going into this fight but I’m grateful to be in one piece and be happy, healthy and safe.”
McGregor did turn himself into the NYPD after the attack, but has yet to receive any kind of punishment from the UFC.