Rose Namajunas came into her fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk as the biggest underdog on the entire UFC 217 card. A polished kickboxer who is known for her pre-fight trash-talk, many believed Joanna Jedrzejczyk would be breaking Ronda Rousey’s title defense record with ease.
But unfortunately, Joanna underestimate her opponent just as the majority of fans had done too.
“Thug Rose” Namajunas took home the belt in an electrifying performance at UFC 217 that showed just how far her MMA game had come since she first fought for the title against Carla Esparza in finale care at the TUF: 20. Jedrzejczyk for fully confident to lead up to the bout by calling Rose “mentally unstable” and said that she has “personal problems” during a promotional conference week. “Thug Rose” has a family history of illness, and her father was suffering from schizophrenia.
“I’m kind of grateful that Joanna tried to poke at that, because now I was able to look into it and read books on it and kind of study it,” Namajunas said following the bout. “Really try to understand what mental illness is. And I realize that we’re all pretty normal, we’re all kind of the same, we’ve all got our issues. But it’s something that we can get stronger at. Your mind is just like your body. It’s a muscle you can train and get better at.”
“I used to fight with hate,” Namajunas said. “There’s been a lot of aggression in my past growing up and stuff. That’s because I was hurt, myself. I learned that love is a much more sustainable energy to draw on than hate.”
Namajunas blinked back tears as Bruce Buffer declared her the new champion at UFC 217, having knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk at 3:03 of the very first round.
— UFC (@ufc) November 5, 2017
Rose said to UFC commentator Joe Rogan:
“It feels like a movie right now,”
‘Thug Rose” went on to deliver one of the most touching post-fight octagon interviews we’ve ever seen: