Namajunas Praises Positivity Following UFC 217
When Rose Namajunas defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk by first-round TKO at UFC 217 land became UFC strawweight champion, and she used much of her post-fight speech to preach a message of positivity. In the moment, winning the title almost seemed secondary to “Thug Rose”.
On Tuesday, Namajunas appeared on The MMA Hour and continued to encourage others to be better people.
“Me saying that this belt don’t mean nothing, it’s not really that it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just it doesn’t mean as much if you’re just an a**hole, you know what I mean?” Namajunas said.
“Me being the best in the world, it doesn’t mean that much to me if I’m not a good person at the end of the day, if I’m not setting a good example for other people to be better to each other.”
“What’s the point of being the best in the world if you scratch and claw your way to the top and you push everybody down instead of lifting everybody else up with you?”
Namajunas has been quite open with personal issues including dealing with abuse in her childhood and her father’s struggles with schizophrenia. Those issues came to light leading up to Namajunas fight with Jedrzejczyk after the then-champion questioned Namajunas’s mental fortitude.
“I think we’ve been sitting around trying to figure out what’s different and I think that’s what’s different,” Namajunas said. “There’s not really much that has changed. We’ve gotten some opportunities that have come by us, but not nothing really that is not what I kind of envisioned, it would be like all kinds of crazy and stuff.”
Namajunas has now won five of her last six fights, a run many pundits wouldn’t have predicted, let alone that she would get a title shot and actually defeat Jedrzedczyk. Looking back on it now, Namajunas can see how the pieces fell into place for her to end up in her current enviable position.
“There were times where I didn’t know for sure this is how it’s going to happen, but I had a strong feeling that it would,” Namajunas said. “Even though there was a lot of challenges that I had to get over, the stars seemed to align for me, certain blessings and people that were brought into my life.”
“One, just for example that popped into my head, Valentina Shevchenko and her team coming into town was a huge help for me and just getting to know them was awesome. Just little things like that proved that this is where I’m supposed to be and it’s just kind of my destiny I felt.”