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Rose Namajunas

Rose Namajunas

American mixed martial artist
Rose Namajunas
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American mixed martial artist
Is Athlete Mixed martial artist Karateka Martial artist Taekwondo athlete Boxer
From United States of America
Type Sports
Gender female
Birth 29 June 1992, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
Age: 28 years
Star sign CancerCancer
Residence USA
Height: 165 cm
Weight: 52 kg
The details


Rose Gertrude Namajunas (born June 29, 1992) is an American mixed martial artist. She is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she competes in the women's strawweight division. Namajunas is a former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. As of July 14, 2020, she is #1 in the UFC women's strawweight rankings and #4 in the UFC women's pound-for-pound rankings.

Early life

Namajunas was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on (1992-06-29)June 29, 1992, to Lithuanian parents. She was named Rose (Lithuanian: Rožė) in honor of her great-grandmother Rožė Gotšalkaitė Namajūnienė, whose husband was an independent Lithuania military officer. He was killed by the Soviets near his house in the temporary capital of Kaunas, Lithuania. Rose Namajunas regularly visits Lithuania and understands the Lithuanian language, because she communicates in it with her grandparents.

She has said that her father suffered from schizophrenia, which led to complications and hardships during her youth. Namajunas started practicing Taekwondo at the age of 5. She earned her poom belt (junior black belt) at age 9. After that, she went on to practice both karate and jiu-jitsu. While in high school, she started training in kickboxing and mixed martial arts with Duke Roufus at Roufusport, and she was also a senior-year wrestler at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Namajunas began competing in MMA as an amateur in 2010. She trained under Greg Nelson at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. She racked up a perfect amateur record of 4–0 with 2 wins by TKO and 2 by decision. Both of the finishes came in the first round.

Invicta Fighting Championship

She made her professional debut against Emily Kagan at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt on January 5, 2013. After two back-and-forth rounds, Namajunas was able to secure the victory via submission due to a rear-naked choke in round three. The victory in her pro debut also earned her the Submission of the Night bonus.

In her second professional appearance, Namajunas faced Kathina Catron at Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson on April 5, 2013. She won the fight by submission due to a flying armbar just 12 seconds into the first round. This performance garnered Namajunas her second Invicta Submission of the Night award.

Namajunas fought fellow undefeated prospect Tecia Torres at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg on July 13, 2013. Namajunas lost the fight by unanimous decision.

The Ultimate Fighter

On December 11, 2013, it was announced that Namajunas was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) along with 10 other strawweight fighters to compete on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, which would crown the first-ever UFC strawweight champion.

Namajunas was the fourth pick by coach Gilbert Melendez. She defeated Alex Chambers by submission due to a rear-naked choke in the preliminary round of the tournament.

In the quarter-finals, Namajunas faced Joanne Calderwood. She won the fight via kimura in the second round.

In the semi-finals, Namajunas faced Randa Markos. She again won the fight via kimura in the first round.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Namajunas faced Carla Esparza at The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Finale on December 12, 2014, for the vacant UFC Strawweight Championship. Namajunas lost the fight as she was submitted via rear-naked choke in the third round.

Despite losing in the finale, Namajunas was awarded two season $25,000 bonus awards for Performance of the Season and Fight of the Season for her bout with Joanne Calderwood.

Namajunas was expected to face Nina Ansaroff on May 23, 2015, in a preliminary bout at UFC 187. Prior to the fight, Ansaroff missed weight by 4 pounds and was fined 20 percent of her fight purse. The bout was scrapped entirely a couple hours before the event, as Ansaroff was declared medically unfit to compete due to illness. According to Ansaroff's camp, she contracted the flu the week before, and the weight cut exacerbated the illness, forcing Ansaroff to abandon her weight cut early, and ultimately withdraw from the fight. Though the fight couldn't take place, Namajunas was paid her full fight purse (show- and win money).

Namajunas fought Angela Hill on October 3, 2015, at UFC 192. After some back-and-forth striking exchanges on the feet, Namajunas took Hill down with a trip off a punch. As Hill stood up, Namajunas quickly secured a rear-naked choke, submitting Hill in the first round.

In a quick turnaround, Namajunas faced streaking prospect Paige VanZant in the main event of UFC Fight Night 80 on December 10, 2015, replacing an injured Joanne Calderwood. Namajunas dominated VanZant throughout the fight, out-striking her consistently and landing eight takedowns. She attempted three submissions—two armbars and a rear naked choke—before she won the fight midway through the fifth round via submission due to a rear naked choke. The win also earned Namajunas her first Performance of the Night bonus award.

On April 16, 2016, Namajunas faced the still-undefeated Tecia Torres at UFC on Fox 19 in a rematch of their 2013 fight at Invicta FC 6. Namajunas won the fight via close but unanimous decision.

On July 30, 2016, Namajunas fought Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 201 in a match regarded as a title eliminator. Kowalkiewicz defeated Namajunas via split decision. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance.

Namajunas faced Michelle Waterson on April 15, 2017, at UFC on Fox 24. Namajunas dropped Waterson with a head kick, and won by submission due to a rear-naked choke in round 2, marking the 5th submission finish in her career.

Strawweight Champion

Namajunas faced Strawweight champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 4, 2017. She came in as a big underdog against the undefeated champion. However, Namajunas upset the MMA world when she knocked Jędrzejczyk down, once behind the ear and then again with a left hand to the chin. She won the fight by KO in first round to be crowned the new UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. This win also earned Namajunas her second Performance of the Night bonus award. This was Namajunas' first knockout victory in her professional career (2 TKO-wins as an amateur). Her victory was immediately declared one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. At the UFC 217 post-fight press conference, Namajunas stated that she intended to use her champion status as a platform to spread awareness of mental illness.

In the first defense of her title, Namajunas faced Jędrzejczyk in a rematch that took place on April 7, 2018, at UFC 223. She won the fight by unanimous decision. Namajunas spent the remainder of the year recovering from a lingering case of spinal stenosis from a C6 vertebral compression fracture, symptoms of which manifested while training with Valentina and Antonina Shevchenko in 2017, and had intensified during training camp for UFC 223.

In her second title defense, Namajunas faced Jéssica Andrade in the main event at UFC 237 on May 11, 2019, in Andrade's home country of Brazil, in what would be Namajunas' first MMA fight outside the United States. Despite dominating the Brazilian throughout the first round and the beginning of the second, she lost the fight by KO via a slam in the second round. This fight earned her the Fight of the Night award.

Namajunas was scheduled to face Jéssica Andrade for a rematch on April 18, 2020 at UFC 249. On April 8, 2020, Namajunas withdrew from the event, with her manager citing a pair of deaths in the family related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. Instead the bout was rescheduled and eventually took place on July 12, 2020 at UFC 251. Namajunas won the fight via split decision. This fight earned her the Fight of the Night award. All of the media scorecards (19 out of 19) scorded the bout in favor of Namajunas.

Fighting style

Namajunas utilizes forward movement while pressuring opponents with jabs and high kicks. During her fight at Invicta FC 6, she directed a series of axe kicks, front kicks, and forward roundhouse kicks to her opponent's head. After closing the distance, she will sometimes attempt to grapple and execute a submission.

Personal life

Namajunas is the fiancée and training partner of former Glory and UFC heavyweight Pat Barry.

Namajunas's moniker, "Thug Rose", was given by friends when she was young because of her intimidating scowl.

I got it [nickname] from my neighborhood friends. When I was little, I was the only white girl, I was smaller than everyone else, and for some reason I just acted harder than everybody else — just fearless, you know? So they kind of dubbed me that because of the intimidating scowl I always had on my face. That's what gave me that name.

Championships and accomplishments

  • 2018 ESPY Award for Best Fighter (nominee)
  • Kids' Choice Sports 2018 Award for Biggest Powerhouse (nominee)
  • Eighth Annual Real Women Awards - 2017 Woman of the Year

Mixed martial arts

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • UFC Women's Strawweight Championship (One time)
      • One successful title defense
    • Performance of the Night (Two times)
    • Fight of the Night (Three times)
    • The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned (Runner-Up)
      • TUF 20 Fight of the Season
      • TUF 20 Performance of the Season
  • Invicta FC
    • Submission of the Night (Two times)
  • Fighter of the Year
    • 2017 MMA Fighter of the Year
      • ESPN, MMASucka, MMA Fighting (Top 5: #4), MMA Mania (Top 5: #4), RealSport (Top 5: #3) MMADNA
    • 2017 UFC Fighter of the Year
      • CBS Sports (Top 5: #3)
    • 2017 MMA Female Fighter of the Year
      • World MMA Awards, Yahoo Sports, MMAjunkie, Cageside Press, Combat Press, SevereMMA, MMA Today (Top 50: #1), Awakening Fighters, Promoting Real Women
  • Upset of the Year
    • 2017 MMA Upset of the Year
      • World MMA Awards, Sports Illustrated, Sherdog, MMAjunkie, MMA Fighting, MMA Weekly, Metro.co.uk, Combat Press, Fight Booth, MMASucka, The MMA Takeover, SevereMMA, Bloody Elbow (Top 3: #1)
    • 2017 UFC Upset of the Year
      • Sport360, Pundit Arena, Per Sources
  • Submission of the Year
    • 2013 MMA Submission of the Year
      • World MMA Awards (nominee), MMA Weekly, The MMA Corner
    • 2013 Women's MMA Submission of the Year
      • Bleacher Report, Bloody Elbow, WMMA Press Association, Awakening Fighters, Promoting Real Women
    • 2015 Women's MMA Submission of the Year
      • Awakening Fighters
    • 2017 Women's MMA Submission of the Year
      • Awakening Fighters (community)
  • Knockout of the Year
    • 2017 Women's MMA Knockout of the Year
      • Awakening Fighters (community), Promoting Real Women
  • Fight of the Year
    • 2013 Women's MMA Fight of the Year
      • Bleacher Report
  • Fight of the Month
    • 2019 May Fight of the Month
      • MMAJunkie.com
  • Year's Most Violent
    • 2017 Fight Booth Lady Violence Award
    • Sherdog.com's 2015 All-Violence Second Team: Strawweight
    • Sherdog.com's 2017 All-Violence Second Team: Strawweight

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
13 matches 9 wins 4 losses
By knockout 1 1
By submission 5 1
By decision 3 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 9–4 Jéssica Andrade Decision (split) UFC 251 July 12, 2020 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Fight of the Night.
Loss 8–4 Jéssica Andrade KO (slam) UFC 237 May 11, 2019 2 2:58 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Lost the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 8–3 Joanna Jędrzejczyk Decision (unanimous) UFC 223 April 7, 2018 5 5:00 Brooklyn, New York, United States Defended the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship.
Win 7–3 Joanna Jędrzejczyk TKO (punches) UFC 217 November 4, 2017 1 3:03 New York City, New York, United States Won the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 6-3 Michelle Waterson Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis April 15, 2017 2 2:47 Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Loss 5–3 Karolina Kowalkiewicz Decision (split) UFC 201 July 30, 2016 3 5:00 Atlanta, Georgia, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 5–2 Tecia Torres Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans April 16, 2016 3 5:00 Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 4–2 Paige VanZant Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant December 10, 2015 5 2:25 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 3–2 Angela Hill Submission (standing rear-naked choke) UFC 192 October 3, 2015 1 2:47 Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 2–2 Carla Esparza Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Finale December 12, 2014 3 1:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the inaugural UFC Women's Strawweight Championship.
Loss 2-1 Tecia Torres Decision (unanimous) Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg July 13, 2013 3 5:00 Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Win 2–0 Kathina Catron Submission (flying armbar) Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson April 5, 2013 1 0:12 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 1–0 Emily Kagan Submission (rear-naked choke) Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt January 5, 2013 3 3:44 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Submission of the Night.
Exhibition record breakdown
3 matches 3 wins 0 losses
By submission 3 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 3–0 Randa Markos Submission (kimura) The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned August 14, 2014
1 2:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States TUF 20 Semifinal round.
Win 2–0 Joanne Calderwood Submission (kimura) August 6, 2014
2 2:06 TUF 20 Quarterfinal round.
Win 1–0 Alex Chambers Submission (rear-naked choke) July 28, 2014
1 4:38 TUF 20 Elimination round.

Amateur record breakdown
4 matches 4 wins 0 losses
By knockout 2 0
By decision 2 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 4–0 Jen Aniano TKO (head kick and punches) King of the Cage - Trump Card 30 June 2012 1 0:33 Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin Strawweight bout.
Win 3–0 Moriel Charneski Decision (unanimous) King of the Cage - March Mania 17 March 2012 3 3:00 Walker, Minnesota 130 lb bout.
Win 2–0 Heather Bassett Decision (unanimous) King of the Cage - Winter Warriors 10 December 2011 3 3:00 Walker, Minnesota Flyweight bout.
Win 1–0 Melissa Pacheco TKO (punches) North American Fight Championship - Relentless 7 August 2010 1 2:51 West Allis, Wisconsin Flyweight bout.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 30 Jul 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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