“Thug” Rose Gertrude Namajunas is a Lithuanian-American mixed martial artist born on June 29th 1992. She fights in the UFC women’s strawweight division. She has black belts in Taekwondo and Karate, and a brown belt in BJJ.
When Rose Namajunas was 5 years old she started training Taekwondo. She earned her junior black belt at 9 years old. At 16 she started training in kickboxing and MMA with Duke Roufus at Roufusport in Milwaukee. Her senior year in Milwaukee High School of the Arts she was wrestling.
Rose Namajunas’ career before the UFC
Rose Namajunas made her MMA debut as an amateur in 2010 and fought as an amateur for 2 years, with a record of 4-0. She made her pro MMA debut in 2013 at Invicta FC 4 – Esparza vs. Hyatt and faced veteran Emily Kagan. She defeated Kagan by rear naked choke in the 3rd round.
4 months later she defeated Kathina Lowe by flying armbar after only 12 seconds at Invicta FC 5 – Penne vs. Waterson.
At Invicta FC 6 she faced off with Tecia “Tiny Tornado” Torres and lost her first professional fight. After this fight she was chosen to be on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter, where the first UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion would be crowned.
Rose Namajunas in The Ultimate Fighter
Rose Namajunas’ first fight in TUF was against Alex Chambers who she defeated by submission in the first round. In the next round she fought Joanne Calderwood and won by 2nd round submission. In the semi finals she faced Randa Markos and won by submission in the first round.
With the three victories she was guaranteed a spot at the finale and a chance to become the first efter UFC Strawweight champion.
Rose Namajunas in the UFC
Rose Namajunas’ first fight in the UFC was against Carla Esparza. The fight was even at first but in the latter part of round 2 Esparza started to take over.
In round 3 Esparza locked in a rear naked choke and won the belt.
Namajunas rebounded with 3 straight wins against Angela Hill, Tecia Torres and Paige VanZant. She lost a split decision to future title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Namajunas got a number one contender fight against top ranked Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson and smashed her by submission in the 2nd round.