UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas didn't like the path that mixed martial arts was on… so she forged a new one.
Namajunas was the recipient of a healthy dose of trash-talk venom from Joanna Jedrzejczyk ahead of their UFC 217 bout in November of 2017. The darkening flavor of trash talk is something that has bothered Namajunas for a while.
It wasn't solely Jedrzejczyk that bothered Namajunas, but the negative vibe filtering through the mixed martial arts community and the world in general. So the 25-year-old decided to do something about it.
Granted, without a strong platform upon which to stand, it would be more difficult for Namajunas to create change, but when she stopped the previously undefeated Jedrzejczyk three minutes and three seconds into their fight, a white-hot spotlight illuminated her every move. She took full advantage.
In a moment after the fight – a moment that Namajunas' coach Trevor Wittman calls one of his proudest as her coach – Namajunas used her newly created platform to move away from the darkness and into the light.
Rose Namajunas' UFC 217 Post-Fight Speech
“There's so much crap going on in the media, news, and stuff, and I just wanna try and use my gift of martial arts to try to make this world a better place, to change the world,” Namajunas said with tear-filled eyes in her UFC 217 octagon interview with Joe Rogan.
“This belt, this belt don't mean nothing, man. Just be a good person, that's it. This is extra,” she said, noting the UFC gold belt on her shoulder. “This is awesome, but just give each other hugs and be nice.
“I know we fight, but this is entertainment. Afterwards, it's nothing.”
In this exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com, Namajunas talked more about the current state of affairs, her optimism for the change that she sees taking place, and how she feels heading into her UFC 223 rematch with Jedrzejczyk.
Namajunas puts her UFC strawweight championship on the line for the first time in an immediate rematch with Jedrzejczyk in the UFC 223 co-main event on April 7 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rose Namajunes: Using Her Gift for Change
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