Rose Namajunas is a mixed martial artist and one of the most technically gifted women in the octagon today. The Milwaukee native is known for her striking prowess and has beat some of the best women in the sport with some of the most impressive submissions in recent history. She is signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and competes in the women’s strawweight division where she is a champion.
She has been an athlete and martial artist most of her life and have had to sacrifice a lot to attain the peak she has got to, even if it means cutting off her once-gorgeous long blonde hair, just to improve her game. The fighter’s inputs are certainly paying off. The women’s strawweight champion is ranked #15 on the official UFC pound-for-pound rankings as of April 2018.
Rose Namajunas Bio, Age
She was born on June 29, 1992, as Rose Gertrude Namajunas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the US to Lithuanian immigrant parents who were both artists. Rose has an older brother. Her mother is a trained classical musician who fostered Rose’s fighting skills as well as her creativity. Her experience with music makes her a major proponent for the importance of arts education in schools but her passion remained with athletics.
Namajunas was nicknamed Thug Rose by her friends when she was young because she always had an intimidating scowl on her face. The scowl was plastered there to ward off trouble due to her small size. Growing up, she witnessed violence far too often and was also sexually abused. As a way of escape, she resorted to the world of combat sports and credits fighting with helping her overcome a lot of troubles she had to face in her life. Although the obstacles have not made her a great fighter, fighting her way through every one of them sure has.
Rose has been in the business of throwing punches and kicking butts as far back as when she was 5. She started practicing Taekwondo then, and four years later, earned her poom belt (junior black belt). Following that, she stepped up her game and went on to practice both karate and jiu-jitsu. While in Milwaukee High School of the Arts, she trained in kickboxing and mixed martial arts and also wrestled in her senior year. She was equally an accomplished cross-country runner in high school.
Going forward, Rose began competing as an amateur in MMA in 2010. She trained at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy and compiled an amateur record of 4-0 (2 wins by TKO and 2 by decision). Right on the heels of her amateur phase, she made her professional debut on January 5, 2013, against Emily Kagan at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt which she won via submission. Her victory earned her the Submission of the Night bonus. She won her second pro fight in April, also via submission but lost her third to Tecia Torres in July by unanimous decision.
After posting beautiful performances at the Invicta Fighting Championship, Namajunas signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in December 2013. Along with 10 other strawweight fighters, she competed on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter for the first-ever UFC strawweight championship. She fought valiantly from the preliminary round of the tournament maintaining her winning streak to the finale where she lost to the eventual winner, Carla Esparza on December 12, 2014.
Even though she lost in the final, she still earned two seasons $25,000 bonus awards for Performance of the Season and Fight of the Season for her bout with her quarter-final opponent, Joanne Calderwood. Following the championship, she took to establishing her ground in the UFC with more victories and awards. Rose earned her first Performance of the Night bonus award on December 10, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 80 after defeating Paige VanZant halfway through the fifth round via submission due to a rear-naked choke.
In 2016, she defeated Torres through a unanimous decision in April but lost her next fight to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a fight regarded as title eliminator in July although both of them earned the Fight of the Night award for their performance. In 2017, Namajunas marked the fifth submission finish in her career following a victory against Michelle Waterson on April 15, 2017. She closed the 2017 season in a grand style by defeating the then UFC Strawweight champion, Joanna Jędrzejczyk on November 4, 2017, to become the new Champion.
Known for her striking prowess, she put Jędrzejczyk away in the first round by KO (her first knockout victory in her pro career). Her victory not only conferred the title on her but she also earned the recognition of pulling off the 2017 UFC Upset of the Year as well as her second Performance of the Night bonus award.
On April 7, 2018, Rose Namajunas successfully defended her title in a rematch against Jędrzejczyk at UFC 223 and was ranked #15 on the official UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
The 1.65m fighter is making quite a fortune from her career. She earns from her bonuses as well as fight purses. Her net worth is estimated to be $500,000. With more fights and victories expected to come her way, we will definitely see her net worth increase within a short time.
Rose Namajunas Father, Husband, Boyfriend
Rose Namajunas grew up in a tough neighborhood where she was the only white girl which explains the scowl she always had on to protect herself. She also had a somewhat lonely life growing up with a mother and a stepfather away from her father because he had mental health issues; he was a schizophrenic.
Her father died when she was 16. Having witnessed mental illness firsthand in her father, she developed passionate feelings about mental health and creates awareness about it.
The UFC strawweight champion has been in a relationship with kickboxer and former MMA artist, Pat Barry (born July 7, 1979). While he is particularly known for his low kicks during his MMA days, his partner is lauded for her high kicks and jabs. He is also her training partner and the duo are engaged.