ByJim Edwards, writer at
MMA story chaser from the UK
Jim Edwards

put in the performance of a lifetime last evening when she submitted Michelle "Karate Hottie" Waterson in the second round of their co-main event contest. caught up with Namajunas backstage after the fight, and 'Thug Rose' said she was overjoyed with her performance.

"I feel pretty great, you know," Namajunas said. "I can't complain. In the first round, she hit me with a couple of good punches, and it was like I just wasn't moving--I think I was a little too relaxed at first. But then, I kinda just let it go and that's how my training has been going. In the first round I just kinda keep being relaxed for some reason, but then in the second round I knew you know, this was just like training. I just went out there and had some fun and that's what happened."

Namajunas finished the fight with a devastating right head kick that dropped Waterson to the mat. From there, Namajunas sunk in a rear-naked choke to get the tap after two minutes and forty-seven seconds of the second round. Afterwards, Rose said it was all a perfect demonstration of what she'd been working on for over a year.

"We've been slowly adding it in there," Namajunas said, speaking about her head kick. "When I was defeated by Carla [Esparza], we kinda went back to the drawing board and started building up my cross, my jab and my hook. We slowly built up that base, and then slowly put my kicks back into there because my right high kick has always landed in practice and back in the day, I've knocked people out in practice. It was just a matter of time before I got the opportunity to put it all together in a fight."

Namajunas then took the time to heap praise on Waterson, both as a martial artist and a mother.

She then reiterated her earlier call out of the winner and Jessica Andrade, who square off at next month.

"Yeah, I think I match up really well against either of those ladies," Namajunas said. "They are both incredible fighters, so whichever one it is, I'll be happy to face [them]."

Having come from a troubled background, Namajunas said she now wants to focus on providing a source of positivity for her fan base.

"I feel like, sometimes I think about the emotions of fighting and I think why do I do this," Namajunas said. "I really want to make a positive impact on the world and really change the world. Not just inspire people, but make people be nicer to each other and stuff like that. It seems ironic that I do that by punching people in the face and kicking them, but this is just what I'm good at. So, I've got to find a way to use that and, I don't know, Just make people better."

Namajunas can leave Kansas with the knowledge that everyone who watched her perform last evening was left with a big smile on their face.


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