Rose Namajunas Kickin It to the UFC Title against Zhang Weili
On Saturday, April 24 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, a match took place that will go down in record books for the women’s strawweight title. It was the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 261) co-main event and highly anticipated.
The match stirred up social media controversy when Rose, whose parents immigrated to the USA from Lithuania, a former communist country, stated she would “rather be dead than red” in reference to Communist China, the home country of MMA fighter Zhang Weili.
The now two-time UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas aka “Thug Rose” dethroned Zhang Weili to reclaim the 115-pound belt for the second time.
Rose knocked Zhang Weili out with a left head kick just 1:18 into the opening round.
Namajunas jumped on Weili, landed ground-and-pound, and forced the referee to stop the fight. Weili stood up and protested the call, but she was stumbling on the canvas still hurt from the head kick. It was the eighth knockout by a head kick in UFC title fight history.
In beating Zhang, Namajunas defeated two of the most dominant strawweight fighters in the history of the sport. She crushed Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4) who previously held the division’s record for most title defenses with five and Zhang Weili (21-2) who had her 21-fight win streak broken on Saturday night.
This win catapults Namajunas into the record books. She’s the first woman fighter to ever reclaim a belt.
While Zhang Weili will probably want a re-match and there are others waiting to challenge “Thug Rose”; whomever she decides to fight you know it will be a match to watch.
About the Author:
Joanne Patti Munisteri lives a ‘different’ life that has taken her around the world. She has lived and worked in Armenia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Russia, Turkey, Qatar, Malaysia, Ascension Island, Italy, Northern Ireland, England, New Zealand, Egypt, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, China, and is now working in remote Alaska. She works in the fields of education, health, monitoring and evaluation, research, and training. Joanne is a certified Combat Analyst and Social Scientist. Joanne was also part of the Human Terrain System (HTS) with the US Army, training at Ft. Leavenworth.
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