‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas submits her way to victory in the middle of Round 2 against ‘Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson
The thrilling strawweight bout Namajunas vs Waterson was the co-main event at UFC on FOX 24: Johnson vs Reis. The event aired live on FOX following the preliminary fights on UFC Fight Pass on Saturday April 15. The night did not disappoint viewers and fans, who tuned in to watch some of the most pivotal match-ups across multiple weight divisions. But particularly the women’s strawweight class.
The hype around this particular match-up between the ‘Karate Hottie’ and ‘Thug’ Rose was at an all time high in the days leading up to the fight night. From the entertaining open workouts to the weigh-ins, where both women showed tremendous sportsmanship and respect toward one another, it’s fair to say fans were eager to see the outcome of this bout.
It was a stunning head kick from Namajunas which sent Waterson to the canvas in round two. However Waterson was down but not out of the fight.
Namajunas followed Waterson to the ground and pressured her with a flurry of punches and elbows in guard yet Waterson survived from her back and smartly defended her self, prolonging the stoppage by the ref.
Namajunas continued to push forward against Waterson. In the scramble, the ‘Thug’ capitalized on an opportunity to take Waterson’s back before locking out a rear naked choke.
After solidifying her fourth victory in the UFC, Namajunas stayed on the canvas and embraced her opponent in a moment few fans and viewers will truly understand. A raw display of sportsmanship and respect.
“When I landed the kick, we were breaking off from the clinch, and she was leaning away from it,” Namajunas said after the fight. “I tried to hit her with a right hand earlier and it missed. So I knew my right hand was going to be right in that range to connect after the kick landed.”
Namajunas, a top contestant on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, has become a household name on the UFC roster
This was an impressive performance and comeback for Namajunas, since her split-decision loss to top strawweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz last July. This victory guarantees her a title shot for the next time she steps foot into the octagon.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Jessica Andrade
Whilst many believe that shot will come against dominant Muay Thai turned MMA Champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, there is one more critical bout for the strawweight division. Jedrzejczyk vs Andrade must take place at UFC 211.
Whilst Jedrzejczyk is the notable favorite, Andrade is a very game opponent for the champion. This bout in particular is sure to have fans, fighters and trainers alike on the edge of their seats.
The winner and champion of the strawweight division after UFC 211 will determine who Namajunas faces in her next fight. Although the strawweight division is young in the UFC and still vastly underestimated by many, it is proving to be the division to watch.