Here’s How Rose Namajunas Helped Chelsea FC Women’s Team Reach the UEFA Champions League Final

Published 05/05/2021, 1:33 AM EDT


Rose Namajunas made history at UFC 261 when she became the first woman to reclaim a belt she had lost. Not only did she win her belt back, but she did it in an utterly dominant display of martial arts. Namajunas first tasted UFC gold when she knocked out long-reigning champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217. However, she lost her belt after one title defense. 

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‘Thug’ faced a seemingly unbeatable Zhang Weili in the co-main event at UFC 261. However, the fight did not last very long as Rose landed an inch-perfect front leg high kick that knocked out the champion in the very first minute of the fight.

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In the lead-up to the fight, when the veteran voice of the octagon, Bruce Buffer, was introducing both fighters, Namajunas was seen muttering to herself ‘I am the best’. Namajunas’s self-affirmations, and convincing herself that she is the best, surely gave her a mental advantage going into the fight. 

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Recently, the Chelsea FC women’s team reached the finals of the UEFA Champions League. The Champion’s League is the biggest and most prestigious club soccer competition in Europe. 

Chelsea FC, headed by coach Emma Hayes, beat an extremely talented Bayern Munich women’s side 5-3 on aggregate to progress to the finals of the tournament. 

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When a reporter asked Hayes what the difference was in reaching the finals, she said, “I played them a video of a UFC star. It was a minute video before the game and she was talking to herself saying ‘I am the best’ and she won the fight. And straight after the fight, the camera said to her, you were saying to yourself I am the best.” 

“And she said, but yes, I am the best. And that is what I said to the players before the game. Someone described us as mentality monsters, and we’re the best. And we’re in this position because we deserve to be.” 

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Namajunas’ mentality and her ability to stay calm on the biggest stage is surely something that is inspiring. It is always great to see MMA fighters gaining recognition for their work, and even more so when they inspire other athletes to reach the biggest stage of their sport. 

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Kevin Binoy

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Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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