Eschewing the trash talk often employed to hype fights, Rose Namajunas instead took a stoic approach in the build up to her strawweight title bout against Joanna Jedzrejczyk. Refusing to engage in any back-and-forth verbal sparring or insult-slinging, the rare moments Namajunas did speak were marked by modest affirmations of gratitude and sportsmanship that stood in stark contrast to several of her colleagues promoting the same fight card at UFC 217.
After knocking out Jedrzejczyk in the first round, and claiming for the strawweight title for herself, her tone remained the same. As she told Joe Rogan from The Octagon immediately following the bout “I just want to try and use my gift of martial arts to try and make this world a better place…just be a good person. That’s it.”
While not the typical rhetoric one often hears emanating from the mouths of professional fighters, Namajunas’ worldview seems to have attached as many fans as her undeniable physical skills. Elaborating at the post fight press conference, she reminded everyone “martial arts is about honor and respect.”