“Thug” Rose Namajunas is one of the emerging faces of the next generation of mixed martial artists. At only twenty years old she is already a well rounded fighter with a highlight reel of striking and submission skills. She’s taken home the SOTN bonus in both of her professional fights; her latest of course being that twelve second flying armbar finish of Kathina Catron which went down as the fastest submission in WMMA history.
Namajunas also embodies the artistic side of MMA. Watching her dance backwards against Emily Kagan while still throwing punches and kicks you are reminded of a ballet dancer making the almost impossible seem effortless. She fights with emotion but not emotionally. Not with anger but with a passion. She puts all of herself into her fights which leave an indelible impression inside of you. Here are some of her thoughts.
Rose Namajunas: When it’s over and I’m in my home.
DW: What do you like about training? And why?
RN: Pushing myself to the limit and breaking through barriers.
DW: What do like the least?
RN: If I feel like I held back.
DW: Do you like to game plan for your fights? Or are you just prepared for what ever happens in the fight?
RN: I always have a game plan.
DW: Do you think your musical side gives you a better understanding of the rhythm of the fight, and your opponent?
RN: Yes, understanding the concept of an off beat is important to throw your opponent off and control them.
DW: You have displayed an advanced usage of movement, balance, footwork and angles in your short career. Does this come from studying martial arts an a young age? Is it a natural ability you have always had?
RN: It’s like the nature vs nurture debate. It’s both natural ability and hard work put together.
DW: You just took first in both no-gi advanced and absolute in a recent BJJ tournament. You have two SOTN bonuses in two fights. Have you fallen in love with jujitsu? Is your talk of wanting to showcase your striking just a ploy to bait opponents into getting submitted by you?
RN: No, striking is always gonna be more fun. However this is not a game or play time. This is a fight and I will take any opportunity to win and finish.
DW: You fight intelligently, passionately, creatively, and with a fearlessness like any great artist. Do you care to talk about the fight itself as an expression of yourself as an artist?
RN: There is a story behind every fight just like there is a story behind a painting or a song. It may sound silly to some people but it’s only because to two reasons. Either they have never fought before or they don’t care enough and don’t have any passion for what they are doing.
DW: You seem comfortable inside the cage and fearless. Does this come from putting yourself in bad positions during truing and learning how to deal with them? Is it growing up in a difficult environment?
RN: Both. My past experiences are what inspire me and drives me to get through tough times in training which ultimately prepares me for the fight.
DW: You are aggressive inside the cage constantly putting pressure on your opponent. Is it a natural part of your personality away from the cage?
RN: As in am I an aggressive person? It depends on the circumstances, like if I’m tired or hungry.
DW: have you always been competitive? Are you in all areas? Or does the fight bring it out in you?
RN: I’ve always been competitive in everything I’ve done I’ve always tried to be the best no matter what it was.
DW: Do you think about losing at all? Or do you just concern yourself with your performances and let the results happen?
RN: I try not to think about losing but it does happen.
|Rose with her UFC heavyweight boyfriend Pat ‘HD’ Barry|
DW: You are also a fight fan. Who is one of your favorite fighters and why?
RN: Pat is my favorite to watch fight because I am there with him through the ups and downs. I’m so emotionally invested that I’m overwhelmed with emotions every time he fights which makes it exciting.
DW: Is there anybody you would like to thank?
RN: My coaches, teammates, and my sponsors CagePotatoMMA, Alienware, Fear the Fighter.
Every fight does tell a story. Her first professional one against Emily Kagan was a short story where we learned about her all-around skill set, toughness, and great cardio. Her next one against Catron was more like a slam poem in its short fierceness where we see her fearlessness and killer instinct. Her next one will take place against Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres in what could be the first chapter in an epic tale between these two talented young warriors. The fight happens this July 13th an Invicta FC6. This is one of those fights you do not want to miss as it will have people talking about it until their next one. If you have not seen her fights check them out on Invicta’s Youtube channel. You can follow her on Twitter @rosenamajunas and Pat Barry @HypeOrDie.