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Rose Namajunas: How “Thug” Rose became the new UFC women’s strawweight champion

Underdog Rose Namajunas knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 to become the second-ever UFC women's strawweight champion. Here's how she did it.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden and what an explosive card it was! This was the promotion’s second event at the venue since the state of New York legalized professional mixed martial arts. 

The most surprising outcome of the night turned out to be one of my all-time favorite and most emotional reactions since I have been watching competitive fight-sports. “Thug” Rose Namajunas knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk, in tremendous fashion, to become the second-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion! 

UFC 217

Now a former champion, Jedrzejczyk seemed like an unstoppable competitor and she was on the verge of tying Ronda Rousey’s record for most consecutive title defenses in women’s mixed martial arts. Most fans and sports analysts predicted that Joanna will follow by breaking the record and establishing herself as an all-time great. 

Joanna has been a very dominating fighter since her first fight in the UFC which saw her defeat Juliana Lima via three-round decision. Not to take anything away from Rose’s epic win, but the former UFC women’s strawweight champion is the pound-for-pound best striker in the entire UFC roster. Similarly, Rose has shown tremendous jiu-jitsu skills and her striking is up there with the best in the women’s strawweight division. She is very resilient, explosive, unpredictable and gets herself out of tough situations, regardless if it’s in striking or grappling. 

My prediction for this fight had 25-year-old Namajunas losing on November 4 just because she is lacking experience. Naturally, I believed Joanna will neutralize most of Rose’s offense and win by a decisive decision like she has done in most of her previous fights. But alas, the underdog in this bout kept her composure, did not react to Joanna’s threats and landed a hook which wobbled the Polish fighter. As Joanna was going down, Rose capitalized and proceeded with multiple blows to the side of the head which gave her the dominant technical knockout victory. 

Replay footage showed Joanna ‘tapping’ two or three times as Rose was pounding her head, just before the referee stopped the fight. That was not a conscious tap out on Joanna’s part as she has shown on multiple occasions the amount of damage she can take and keep fighting through. 

The former champion got outclassed by ‘Thug’ Rose. 

What did you think of “Thug” Rose Namajunas’ performance at UFC 217?

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Dimitar Marinov

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  • Charle

    Rose is the third UFC strawweight champion…
    1. Carla Esparza
    2. JJ Champion
    3. Rose Namajunas

    • Dimitar Marino

      My mistake, you are correct Sir! She was Carla was the 1st champion and she beat Rose at The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Finale.

Rose Namajunas: How “Thug” Rose became the new UFC women’s strawweight champion

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