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Rose Namajunas: A Trailblazing Journey to Becoming a Two-Time UFC Strawweight Champion, coming back to the Octagon this Saturday, in Denver

Rose Namajunas vs Zhang Weili
Black Belt Plus

Rose Namajunas, often known simply as "Thug," has carved a notable path through the UFC, thrilling fans with her performances since her debut.

Beginning her UFC career on December 12, 2014, at The Ultimate Fighter finale, where she faced Carla Esparza, Namajunas has risen to prominence with significant achievements and memorable fights.

As a contestant on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014, Namajunas quickly made a name for herself. Over the years, she has earned six post-fight bonuses, split evenly between Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night. Notably, she is tied for the record for most finishes in the UFC strawweight division, with five to her name.

Namajunas has twice held the UFC strawweight championship. Her first title win came in November 2017, when she defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She reclaimed the title in April 2021 at UFC 261, overcoming Zhang Weili in a stunning performance.

Key Fight Highlights

UFC 217 (November 4, 2017): Namajunas delivered a shocking upset over Joanna Jędrzejczyk, showcasing her striking prowess and securing a first-round finish.

UFC 251 (July 12, 2020): After losing her title to Jéssica Andrade via a dramatic slam, Namajunas faced Andrade in a rematch on Fight Island. She won the bout by split decision, highlighted as Fight of the Night.

UFC 261 (April 24, 2021): Facing Zhang Weili, Namajunas won with a dramatic head kick just over a minute into the first round, marking an emotional high in her career.

Recent UFC Record

Namajunas has continued to compete at the highest levels:

  • Defeated Amanda Ribas by unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN (March 23, 2024).

  • Lost to Manon Fiorot by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night (September 2, 2023).

  • Lost to Carla Esparza by split decision at UFC 274 (May 7, 2022), relinquishing her strawweight title.

  • Retained her title against Zhang Weili by split decision at UFC 268 (November 6, 2021).

Rose Namajunas remains a prominent figure in the UFC, embodying the spirit and determination of a champion in the ever-evolving world of mixed martial arts.

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