What UFC fans should know about Rose Namajunas

UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas might just be the easiest fighter to love. Whether it’s her wholesome character or moments in the octagon that have the commentators’ booth at a loss for words, Rose has proven herself to be a fixture on the UFC roster.

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The two-time UFC strawweight champion got off to a humble start, but she didn’t let anything discourage or hinder her. With her confidence and abilities, she is well on her way to launching her name in conversation for the female goat. Thug Rose is a very interesting character, an admirable fighter, and a great personality.

ten taekwondo background

Namajunas Kick
© Jasen Vinlove – USA Today Sports

Rose Namajunas started training taekwondo when she was four years old. Coming from an athletic lineage, Namajunas tried his hand at almost every sport you could think of. Taekwondo and karate at a young age paved the way for a successful career in combat sports.

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Namajunas would continue to wrestle and practice jiu-jitsu, which would make her the complete fighter she is today. Taekwondo experience really shows in Rose’s performance and may have been the tool that led her to reclaim the belt. Incredible leg dexterity and striking speed contributed to the champion’s best reel. Rose grew up as a fighter, but her roots still matter.

9 The surname

Thug Rose Stare
© Ed Mulholland – USA Today Sports

Fans heard “Thug Rose” on repeat as commentator Daniel Cormier saw Rose, as a significant underdog, win her first UFC title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. At a loss for words, all Cormier could exhale was the new champion’s nickname.

The nickname “Thug” was given at a young age and comes from the stoic look she has. A good example being the stare between Rose and Joanna during the UFC 217 weigh-ins. stands in front of her.


8 musically inclined

TUF Pink
© Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA Today Sports

Rose Namajunas is absolutely amazing on the piano. Rose excelled in a number of extracurricular activities, musicality being one of them. In order to stay busy and off the streets, Rose’s mother asked her daughter to take piano lessons while practicing martial arts.

It turns out that the fighters’ hotel at UFC 261 had a piano in the lobby. Namajunes graced the building and spent time showing off his musical gift.

seven The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned

UFC 187 Pink
© Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports

Rose Namajunas was one of many talented fighters who competed in The Ultimate Fighter 20. Rose had a perfect 4-0 amateur career which propelled her into the professional circuit. As a professional, Namajunas battled 2-1 for Invicta FC – one of those wins being a flying armbar 12 seconds into the first round.

Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez have coached this very talented season. Rose was the fourth choice and set to wear the Team Melendez jersey. Namajunas used her screen time to let the MMA world know she’s a threat. Winning three fights, all by submission, Rose earned a spot to fight in the finals. Eventually, Thug Rose would lose to Carla Esparza, but she did more than enough to earn a spot in the UFC.

6 pat barry

via forums.sherdog.com

Namajunas has a very talented and recognizable corner that supports her when she fights. Pat Barry was one of them. Pat may sound familiar, as he is a former Glory Kickboxing fighter and UFC heavyweight.

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Rose and Pat met at Duke Roufus’ gym in Milwaukee, where Namajunas grew up. According to Rose, Pat was after her for a little while before she wanted to settle down with him. The couple have had their ups and downs, but are now engaged.

5 Make Joe Rogan Cry

Emotional Rose Namajunas
© Jasen Vinlove – USA Today Sports

Rose Namajunas specializes in animating the broadcast booth, as she was behind two amazing UFC commentator reaction clips. Joe Rogan has seen many emotional victories in his time working with the UFC and hosting post-fight interviews, but Rose just pulls the chord differently.

Once again the underdog in the Strawweight title fight, a scary opponent in Weili Zhang would be Namajunas’ opponent at UFC 261. to intervene. With gold around Rose’s waist again, Joe entered the octagon to talk to her. Rose’s poise and poise has truly been a sight to behold lately. Psalmody, I’m the best, from the walkout to the fight sent shivers down the spine of the spectators. Rogan couldn’t help but cry while interviewing Namajunas.

4 Shave your head

pink hair
© Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports

Namajunas is about as authentic as it gets. She is in the fighting game to be a fighter. Her signature shaved head look might be something fans wonder about, but there’s nothing too crazy behind it.

Growing up as a tomboy, Namajunas said she didn’t even know what to do with her hair when she grew it out. The easy solution was to get rid of it, and it’s been her look ever since.

3 First to beat Joanna Jędrzejczyk

Rose Joanna Championship
© Dennis Schneidler – USA Today Sports

In 2017, at UFC 217, fans witnessed one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Joanna Jędrzejczyk entering as the undefeated champion, riding five title defenses. Rose was the biggest underdog on the card that night. On paper, the best path to success for Rose was to fight and get a submission.

What makes this upset all the more savage is how the fight was stopped. Rose Namajunes caught Joanna with a lead hook that knocked the champ down. Ground and pound tracking had Joanna tapping to strike. Ultimately, a first-round TKO win, very few could have predicted how this matchup turned out. The sport is changing rapidly, making it easy to forget how dominant a champion was before being dethroned.

2 Most Women’s Strawweight Finishes

Choking Manajunas
© Ron Chenoy – USA Today Sports

As a reminder of how complete Rose Namajunes is, she gets the job done in different ways. Finishes are unquestionably more exciting and add more weight to a win. To minimize any potential controversy, it’s ideal to keep the judges out of things.

Namajunes’ record shows that she is a prolific finisher. Five of his nine wins ended before the final horn. This competition caliber in this weight class reduces the likelihood of achieving these exceptional finishes, but Rose pulls it off regardless.

1 Undefeated in rematches

Rose Weili's rematch
© Ed Mulholland – USA Today Sports

Rose had her hand raised time and time again. Rematches, however, see her win at a 100% rate. The downside of getting finishes will always be the crit of winning as a fluke. Rematches do a good job of silencing those voices.

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Not only did Rose come out on top in all three of her rematches, but two of them, being title fights, allowed her to take control and win an imperative fifth round. Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Weilli Zhang’s rematches were much more competitive than the first time around. Rose showed his champion heart by winning the fifth round in those two rematches.

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