FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week: Rose Namajunas

FightPost MMA Fighter of the Week: Rose Namajunas

By Dan McConnell

With the first UFC ‘Fight Island’ card in the history books, I think we can all say that the event in Abu Dhabi delivered on all the pre-event hype.

Makwan Amirkani submitted Scotland Danny Henry with a slick anaconda choke.

Jiri Prochazka shocked the world on his UFC debut and took home the performance of the night bonus when he knocked out Volkan Oezdemir in the second round.

Amanda Ribas added Paige Van Zant to her record of 10-1 and showed why she is one to look out for in whatever division she eventually settles in.

But for me, ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas showed tremendous heart after a 14-month mental and physical layoff. A fight of the night war more than entertained.

After ending former strawweight Queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s dominance at the top of the tree in 2018, Thug Rose was destined for greatness.

A short-lived time as champ due to an unfortunate loss to Jessica Andrade in May 2019, even though she was dominating the fight up until that point.

A wrestling style KO slam threw off her equilibrium and knocked her unconscious, with Andrade pouncing on the opportunity.

This rematch was 14 months in the making, and it turned out to be well worth the wait with the former strawweight champions putting on a tremendous show.

Namajunas looked sharp over the first 10 minutes, sticking and moving then fending off Andrade’s ferocious comeback over the final rounds to earn a split decision win.

Post-fight the brutal damage taken to her eye and nose, seemingly unbothered Rose in typical fashion while her black and blue eye remained clamped shut.

Rose announced that she will be auctioning off her fight gear to help raise funds and awareness for longtime-UFC makeup artist Suzy Friton who is battling cancer.

The now 9-4 former champ has her focus firmly on regaining her title, and taking on current 125-pound holder Wili Zhang.

Namajunas has the master-mind Trevor Wittman in her corner, as well as former UFC heavyweight Pat Barry. There is something special developing in Denver Colorado with Justin Gaethje and now the rejuvenated Rose Namajunas.

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