Rose Namajunas named ESPN’s fighter of the year.
Rose Namajunas shocked the world when she utterly knocked out unbeaten Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217 to become the new women’s UFC strawweight champion. As impressive as her performance was, she might have earned even more praise for her post-fight comments, where she remained notably humble and emphasized that she just wanted to be a good human and help to raise awareness for mental illness.
She was a huge underdog at UFC 217, once she stepped inside the cage, shockingly finished Joanna via first-round knockout. That was the first knockout of her professional career.
After her impressive performance that clinched ESPN to award Namajunas with their ‘Fighter of the Year’ award.
Rose Namajunas recently speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
“I felt like I was part of the Knicks basketball team [before the fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk]. I was in that really nice locker room and I felt so light on my feet, so agile — just great. Superhuman at that moment. [Saying the Lord’s Prayer] was a habit for me growing up. When I was helpless and didn’t know what to do — that was something I said to make me feel better. Now it’s way more intentional.”
“There’s way more belief and faith in [that prayer now]. There have been moments in my life that chaos surrounded me and I kind of fell victim to it. You can become attached to chaos. I was using that negativity as energy, rather than now putting those negative situations behind me and turning my experiences into a positive. I want to inspire people that you don’t have to fight with hate. You can fight with passion and desire to make this world a better place.”
Rose Namajunas wants to set a good example partially because of her abusive childhood, which Joanna Jedrzejczyk tried to play on in the build-up to their bout. Namajunas recently said title doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t a good person.
At a time when so many UFC fighters seem equipped toward trash talk and bad blood to promote themselves — Rose Namajunas wants to do the opposite in 2018.