VIDEO: When Rose Namajunas Was Handed Her Only KO Loss

Published 04/22/2021, 9:36 AM EDT


Former UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is gearing up to face current champion Zhang Weili. The match is booked as a co-main event at UFC 261 on April 24, 2021.

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The submission specialist, ‘Thug’ Namajunas, (9-4) never had a knockout loss in her pro career until she met Brazilian Jessica Andrade. The main event clash took place at UFC 237 on May 11, 2019.

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Namajunas faced Andrade in her second title defense. In the first round, the boxing skills of ‘Thug’ were at full force as she took control of the fight. Her jabs were too hot to handle for Andrade, even from a distance.

‘Bate Estaca’ was having a rough time as she was taking discernible damage on her face. Although she tried hard to counter with persistent pressing forward and leg kicks, ‘Thug’ was on top of her game.

At one point, Namajunas even scored a knockdown after 2-3 hard punch blends. Towards the end, the constant forward press and leg kicks of Andrade came to the fore and ultimately slowed the champ’s pace, evident by the bruises on her legs. Andrade performed her trademark lift-slam but could not capitalize on it, as ‘Thug’ landed safely and kept a firm grip on the arm for a possible submission lock.

In the second round, the champ again started with a punch combination. But constant leg kicks and forward press gradually had affected her pace, and she was fading out. Andrade saw an opportunity and went for the lift-slam again, and this time, Namajunas landed on her neck and head and that was the end for her. The emanate KO handed Andrade the strawweight title and Namajunas her first KO loss.

A motivated Rose Namajunas looking forward to Weili fight

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In a recent interview given to Ariel Helwani, ‘Thug’ gave her insight on fighting Weili for the title. She said she’s motivated for her clash with ‘Magnum’. She insisted, “In my opinion, I have been thinking about fighting Weili ever since I lost the belt and she became the champion. Ever since she beat Joanna, this is something that further increased my motivation to want to fight her.” 

Namajunas said it impressed her when Weili beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk and opines that there are only a few fighters who could accomplish that. Besides Weili, she named Valentina Shevchenko and herself to be only capable of carrying out the feat.

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A glimpse at Namajunas’ career record is enough to suggest how she’s a master in submission plays. But it will be a tough job for her against Weili, who is still undefeated via submission and knockouts. Can ‘Thug’ stop the seemingly unstoppable Weili and capture gold?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

431 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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