Rose Gertrude Namajunas ( //; born June 29, 1992) is an American mixed martial artist. She is currently signed to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she competes in the women's strawweight division. She is a former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. As of September 2, 2019, she is #2 in the UFC women's strawweight rankings.
|Born||Rose Gertrude Namajunas|
June 29, 1992
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 5 in (165 cm)|
|Weight||115 lb (52 kg; 8 st 3 lb)|
|Reach||65 in (165 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Denver, Colorado, U.S.|
|Team||303 Training Center|
Grudge Training Center (2012–2016)
Minnesota Martial Arts Academy (2011–2012)
|Rank||Black belt in Taekwondo|
Black belt in Karate
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
|Years active||2010–present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
- 1 Early life
- 2 Mixed martial arts career
- 3 Fighting style
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 Mixed martial arts record
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Namajunas was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 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 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 careerEdit
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 ChampionshipEdit
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.
The Ultimate FighterEdit
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.
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 ChampionshipEdit
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.
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 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.
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 her 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 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.
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 accomplishmentsEdit
- 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 artsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Women's Strawweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk 
- Performance of the Night (Two times) vs. Paige VanZant and Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- Fight of the Night (Two time) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jéssica Andrade 
- The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned (Runner-Up)
- Invicta FC
- Submission of the Night (Two times) vs. Emily Kagan, Kathina Catron
- Fighter of the Year
- 2017 MMA Fighter of the Year
- 2017 UFC Fighter of the Year
- 2017 MMA Female Fighter of the Year
- Upset of the Year
- 2017 MMA Upset of the Year vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- 2017 UFC Upset of the Year vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
- Submission of the Year
- 2013 MMA Submission of the Year vs. Kathina Catron
- 2013 Women's MMA Submission of the Year vs. Kathina Catron
- 2015 Women's MMA Submission of the Year vs. Paige VanZant
- Awakening Fighters
- 2017 Women's MMA Submission of the Year vs. Michelle Waterson
- Awakening Fighters (community)
- Knockout of the Year
- Fight of the Year
- 2013 Women's MMA Fight of the Year vs. Tecia Torres
- Bleacher Report
- 2013 Women's MMA Fight of the Year vs. Tecia Torres
- Fight of the Month
- Year's Most Violent
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|12 matches||8 wins||4 losses|
|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 (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|
|Win||3–0||Randa Markos||Submission (kimura)||The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned||August 14, 2014
(December 10, 2014 airdate)
|1||2:45||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF 20 Semifinal round.|
|Win||2–0||Joanne Calderwood||Submission (kimura)||August 6, 2014
(December 3, 2014 airdate)
|2||2:06||TUF 20 Quarterfinal round.|
|Win||1–0||Alex Chambers||Submission (rear-naked choke)||July 28, 2014
(November 5, 2014 airdate)
|1||4:38||TUF 20 Elimination round.|
|Amateur record breakdown|
|4 matches||4 wins||0 losses|
|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.|
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